Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Schnell Finds a New Home

Name: Jeff Schnell

Sport: Men’s tennis

Position: Captain

Hometown: Short Hills, N.J.

High School: Milburn High School

School/Year: MSB ’08

Major: Finance

Minor: Management

GU Highlights: 2006: Boasts singles victories over GWU junior Sam Salyer, Delaware sophomore Nolan Greenberg and North Carolina freshman Andrew Crone. Only singles loss came in a third set tie-breaker against GWU senior Brandon Harris. Won five straight doubles matches with sophomore Kevin Walsh to win doubles draw at Georgetown Classic.

When did you first start playing tennis? Competitively?

I started playing around [age] 12 or 13. My whole family plays tennis: grandparents, parents, brothers and sister. So I wanted to play too. In college, I like that [it] is an individual sport with a team aspect. So you are personally responsible and responsible of being on a team.

What made you transfer from American University [before this season]?

American University cut the tennis program in March 2004. They gave us one extra year to play. Then this fall, I got lucky and transferred. It is a completely different environment. The academics are a lot more rigorous here. I don’t think anything is necessarily better, it is just different.

Who on the team do you rely on the most?

I rely on everyone the most. The team is very close. I don’t think anyone looking from the outside can see how close it is. I came from a team that was really dependent on one another. This team is also very close and relies on everybody. Not only for lifting and practices, but as friends.

Who is your biggest rival?

Anybody who we play the next day.

What do you do to get psyched for a match?

I don’t do work the night before. I try to go to bed early. I get on the court a little before the warm ups just to sort of be by myself before everything starts.

Any superstitions?

My socks have to be of equally high. I never step on the line when I walk on the court. If I start making the first serve in, I mimic what I did for those and that’s what I do for the match. I talk to myself so much. That is a tennis thing, it has to be.

If you could be great at any other sport besides tennis, what would it be? Why?

I would be great a hockey. I played when I was younger and I am a huge hockey fan. I love the sport. It lacks the individual aspect of tennis – it is strictly a team sport. Every now and then I wish I was part of a bigger team, to be one of five people on the ice and not one person on the court.

What was the best moment in your career so far?

Wining the Patriot League with the American team my freshmen year.

What is the one thing you miss the most about home?

My family. They are huge supporters of everything I have done in my life. It is great being around the encouragement from them. They are my role models.

What do you do when you are not playing tennis?

Study, a lot of studying.

What is the one word people would you to describe you?

Intense. When it comes to something I really enjoy doing, I get really passionate abut it. I practice hard and bring a lot of intensity to court when we practice doubles, which is hard for some to do.

If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you be? Why?

I think I would be in Australia, because as winter nears for us, summer starts for them.

Favorite professional tennis player?

Patrick Rafter.

Favorite Olympic sport?

Hockey.

Favorite movie?

“Dumb and Dumber.” You can just watch it over and over. It is always funny.

Favorite TV show?

“Family Guy.” It is just the greatest show.

Favorite thing about Georgetown?

I guess the atmosphere. It is such a rigorous academic load that all the students are doing, and on top of that is just one of the most beautiful places in the country to be.

What will be for Halloween this year?

I have no idea.

Favorite Georgetown restaurant?

Filomena’s.

Any advice for anyone who wants to join tennis?

Go for it. Playing a sport in college is the best decision anybody could ever make. We are looking for people that have strong work ethics, people that are extremely passionate about the game, and day in day out you will be a good player by giving it your all.

How long do you see yourself playing tennis?

Until I can’t walk any longer.

Booey’s or Wisey’s?

I have never been to either.

Interview and photo by Pasha C. Chandra

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