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Squash taking off as workout option at UNC

Squash is on the rise this year.

Not the vegetable, but the recreational sport played in a room with four walls and abnormally small doors.

Carolina Squash is an organization for UNC students and community members who want to get a great workout while meeting new people.

Carolina Squash men's captain Daniel Adamkiewicz said the sport has kept him in shape the past two years.

“It is an extremely intense caloric workout. So, it’s been a really great way for all of us to stay in shape in college,” he said.

The organization also welcomes people of all skill levels. Adamkiewicz said there are a range of skill sets in the group, from high school experience to never holding a racquet in their hands — but there is plenty of room for everyone to learn and increase their abilities.

Adamkiewicz said he was one of the members who had never played squash before joining the organization.

“I did not play in high school and a lot of our members didn’t either,” he said.

The group practices three times a week on the squash courts in the back of Fetzer Hall. They also compete against local schools in scrimmages and play other schools in tournaments in Atlanta and Baltimore and at the University of Virgina.

Carolina Squash coach Rick Kagan has been involved with the sport since his children were little — his daughter now plays squash collegiately.

Kagan said he believes squash is a learning community where everyone wants everyone to get better.

“I think anybody who wants to can learn to hit a squash ball,” he said.

The team is working toward becoming an official club sport at UNC.

The group has not had enough consistent turnout each year for the University to recognize the organization as a club sport. Adamkiewicz and the team are hoping to change that by showing the University they are capable of growth and consistent participation.

Carolina Squash is currently coed, but they are working to have a men’s team and a women’s team.

Morgan Alderman, the potential women’s team captain, started playing this summer when she came to pick her brother up from playing with some of the guys involved in the Carolina Squash organization.

She said they are working to build a lineup of six women before they play in Charlottesville, Virginia, this year.

“Starting off this year, I was the only woman on the team. So, now we’re trying to get a women’s ladder — it’s taking a little bit of time, but hopefully we’ll get there,” Alderman said.

Skyler Golann transferred from Brandeis University, where he was a part of the club squash team. He joined the UNC team this year.

Golann said squash is a great sport for fitness.

“It's been proven to be one of the best sports for cardio — like almost to the level of swimming,” he said. “It’s a great sport if you’re kind of looking to get exercise and have some fun.”

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Kagan said squash is one the best sports you can play, no matter how old you get.

“This is the most strenuous sport, for life, that you can learn and actually play for a lifetime.”