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First-year racquetball team to host Mid-Atlantic tournament

October 18, 2011 : Olivia Witherite/Liberty University News Service

Men's racquetball team members Shawn Furman (left) and Jared Abramowicz (right) practice at The Sports Racket.

Liberty University’s men’s racquetball team will host the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Racquetball Tournament Oct. 21-23 at The Sports Racket in Lynchburg.

Liberty will compete against eight other college teams: Duke University, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Appalachian State University, NC State University, Virginia Tech, University of Maryland and The College of William & Mary.

Liberty formed a racquetball team earlier this year as part of its club sports program, and the Mid-Atlantic tournament will be the team’s second tournament. The team played at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last month, with three players placing in their brackets.

“I’m going to go out there (in the tournament) and give everything that I have to represent the team and Liberty,” said senior Shawn Furman.

There are currently five men on Liberty’s racquetball team, led by head coach Danny Rodriguez, a certified AmPRO racquetball instructor and a TeamHead USA sponsored player. The team is actively recruiting new members.

“It’s a lot of fun. … Once you pick it up, it’s definitely one of those things where you’ll be playing for the rest of your life,” said senior Jared Abramowicz.

The Sports Racket, a 35-year-old indoor tennis and racquetball facility, was purchased by Sherwin Cook, a member of Liberty’s Board of Trustees, who donated it to the University in February. Liberty has made extensive improvements to the facility, which includes five tennis courts, five racquetball courts, a locker room, a gym with treadmills and weight equipment and a tanning bed. The facility remains open to the Lynchburg community and continues to service nearly 300 members.

The tournament begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21. The event is free and open to the public.