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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Racquetball team triumphs, earning them a national title last year

Senior Julia Stein competed all over the world in Racquetball championships, leading her to BW.
Julia+Stein+and+a+fellow+racquetball+player+practicing+at+BW.+
Nick Irelan
Julia Stein and a fellow racquetball player practicing at BW.

The Baldwin Wallace University’s racquetball team has a track record of attaining several national championships with their latest triumph occurring just last year at the collegiate national tournament in Columbus, Ohio.  

Standout player Julia Stein’s performance in high-level racquetball extends back to her early years, as she’s been a strong player starting at the age of five. 

The Baldwin Wallace racquetball teams have had a prominent status within BW’s competitive club roster for quite some time. They stand as the only club sport offered by BW in the D1 conference. 

“My dad would take my brothers and me to the gym and I would sit in the back of the court and watch them before I was able to really swing the racquet,” Stein said, “Around five, I got strong enough to be able to hit the ball to the front wall so that’s when I started actually playing.” 

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At the time, Stein was exploring the sport and seeking her interests as a young athlete. As she got older, her racquetball career took off. 

“I always just went around to tournaments with my brothers and didn’t really have the motivation to practice and win on my own until 10 or 12,” Stein said. “That was when I started qualifying for the National team and traveling to other countries.” 

Early in her career, Stein joined the Junior National Team for United States Racquetball. 

“The strongest racquetball community I have been involved in is Team USA,” Stein said. “… Every kid there knows what it feels like to win and be on top of the world and to lose and feel like you’re at rock bottom.” 

The Junior National Team has taken Julia to places such as Colombia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Guatemala. 

Stein’s most significant moment in her racquetball career occurred at the 2018 World Tournament in San Luís Potosí, Mexico. Stein recalls a pivotal match in which she and her doubles partner faced off against Mexico during the pool play.  

Mexico had consistently been a dominant force in the sport, so winning a game against the country gave them a surge of confidence and momentum as they headed into the main draw. Later, they came face-to-face with Mexico in the finals.  

“In previous years, the farthest [we] made it in the tournament was getting a bronze. The fact that we were in the finals was new, exciting and motivating to us. We came out firing in the first game and won.” 

The pair was crowned World Champions in San Luís Potosí, Mexico. Her aspirations led her to BW, with the aim of winning national championships and elevating the D1 club team to new heights. 

“I am trying to get other students at BW involved in racquetball,” Stein said. “A lot of people are turned away by the fact that we are considered D1, but I try to explain that everyone who plays on the team starts as a beginner. I encourage everyone to give it a try.

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