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BW men fourth in Division I and women win Division II national title in racquetball

The Baldwin Wallace University Olympic sport men's racquetball team placed fourth in Division l and the Yellow Jacket women finished first in Division ll at the 2019 USA Racquetball Intercollegiate National Championships at Arizona State University.

Photo of BW Men's Racquetball Team The BW men were fourth of 26 teams competing at the Division I level. USA Racquetball All-America status was earned by junior Jeremy Dixon of Downers Grove, Illinois; senior Daniel Herrera of San Jose, Costa Rica; graduate student Matt Schneider of Avon Lake, Ohio; and senior Ethan Slutzky '19 of Chesterfield, Missouri.

"I am extremely proud of our entire team," said veteran head coach Dr. Tim Miller. "Each student-athlete played their heart out and represented Baldwin Wallace with passion and excellence. It was a great weekend of competition."

In men's doubles action, Dixon and Herrera compiled a 3-1 record in the No. 1 Gold Division and earned a third-place finish with 87.5 points. The third-place finish also makes the Yellow Jacket duo the third best tandem in Intercollegiate Racquetball.

At No. 2 Gold doubles, Schneider and Slutzky also compiled a 3-1 slate and placed third with 75 points. Also scoring 25 valuable points were sophomore Daniel Boyes of Wooster, Ohio, and senior Nathan Polidori of Valley City, Ohio, who placed eighth in the No. 3 Gold Division with a 1-1 record.

In singles action, the four All-Americans were outstanding. Dixon won the bronze medal and placed third in the Division l and No. 1 Gold bracket. That signified that he is the third-best player in Intercollegiate Racquetball.

In addition, Herrera earned the bronze medal in the No. 2 Gold Division with a third-place finish. Slutzky placed fourth in the No. 3 Gold Division and received the Pewter Medal. Schneider earned a third-place spot and a bronze medal in the No. 4 Gold Division. Also placing high in their respective spots were Boyes and Polidori. Boyes was first in the No. 5 White Division and Polidori was first in the No. 6 Red Division.

"Winning the bronze medal at No. 2 was a great accomplishment and a great way for Daniel Herrera to end his collegiate career," said Miller. "The same is true for Ethan and Matt in doubles play."

Photo of BW Women's Racquetball Team The Yellow Jacket women won the national title in Division II and finished first of the eight schools in attendance.

"Winning the Division II title with just one senior on the team was a great accomplishment," said Miller. "Each of our ladies improved tremendously this season, especially when you consider that Faith [Malek] was the only one who had previous racquetball experience."

On the women's side, the duo of No. 1 player freshman Faith Malek of St. Louis, Missouri, and No. 2 player senior Lily Pattyn of Bay Village, Ohio, placed seventh in the No. 1 Gold Division. The combination of junior Hannah Durst of Madison, Ohio, and sophomore Olivia Gonzalez of Bronx, New York, placed fourth in No. 3 Gold consolation bracket.

In singles, Malek finished fourth in the No. 1 Red Division. Pattyn won a bronze medal in the No. 2 Blue Division with a third-place finish. Placing first in the No. 3 Red Division was Durst as she collected a gold medal. Gonzalez was the runner-up in the No. 4 Red Division and earned a silver medal.

"Faith is only a freshman and has three more seasons to play," said Miller. "She will be an all-star one day!"

The success at the national level was "icing on the cake" for Miller and his squad. Both the men's and women's teams won the 2019 Ohio college and university title and the women also captured the Mideast Racquetball Conference title. The Yellow Jackets also won titles in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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