Racquetball on road to the national championships


Stuart Diffely

Junior Davis Ma plays in a racquetball match at the Multnomah Athletic Club. The racquetball team is preparing for the state championships at the end of January.

While basketball steals much of the spotlight in the world of winter sports, 40 Lincoln students compete on a different kind of hardwood: racquetball courts.

In the past, Lincoln racquetball players have found great success on the national stage. Last year, current junior Kayla Rae and her doubles partner, now Lincoln graduate, Lindsay Briglia, took home 4th place in the country in girls’ doubles.

“Nationals last year [was] amazing. Lindsay and I were very excited about how we finished,” Rae says.

Finishing 4th in the country, Rae and Briglia became All-American Athletes.

“It’s pretty cool having someone as good and as accomplished as [Rae] on the team,” says junior Elliot Balmer. “She really motivates us to be the best we can be.”

This year’s team has a few players to watch: First, Rae is currently ranked 7th in state. On the boys’ side, Lincoln has one player ranked in the top 15 with senior Andrew Crawford.

Another player to watchon is junior Nate Stember, who is currently ranked 19th in state.

“This is my first year playing racquetball,” Stember says. “I’ve really been enjoying it and it’s fun how far I’ve come in such a short period of time.”

An important event coming up is Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, when Lincoln athletes will compete in the 2018 Oregon Racquetball State Championships at the Cascade Athletic Club in Gresham, Oregon. The tournament will be open to the public.

As there are no racquetball courts at Lincoln, the team practices nearby at the MAC (Multnomah Athletic Club). The MAC possesses world class facilities and they host the US Racquetball High School National Championships every other year, alternating with courts in St. Louis, Missouri.

This year, the 2018 High School National Championships will be hosted by the MAC from Feb. 28 to Mar. 4. Players will be here from all over the country and Lincoln hopes to have a few players represent them against the elite competition. Nationals will also be open to public audiences.