The pressure was at its breaking point for women’s squash player Erika Kohnen ’12 in the final match to decide the Kurtz Cup. Put in this do-or-die situation, Kohnen pulled off the win, despite her match lasting five grueling games. For her outstanding play in her final game as a Bear, The Herald has named Kohnen Athlete of the Week.
The Herald: When did you start playing squash?
Kohnen: I was playing squash as a little kid. My parents played, so I would just tag along with them. I have a younger sister, and the two of us would play growing up. I started playing in junior tournaments probably when I was about 12 or 13, and it’s gone on from there.
What is your favorite squash memory?
I don’t know if I would say there’s one specific thing. But probably for me, the best part of playing squash has been being on the team at Brown. Just being able to hang out with that group of people at tournaments, outside of tournaments, just having that great group of friends and teammates has probably the best part for me.
What are some of your favorite hobbies besides squash?
I play other sports for fun. I like biking, running. This year, I’ve started getting into photography. I’m really into drawing and painting.
Do you have any special pre-match rituals?
I just try to find a quiet place and think about what I want my strategy to be in the match — taking some time for reflection before the match.
Why did you choose Brown?
First of all, I really loved the coach. At Brown, the squash coach, Stuart leGassick, is amazing. I came and visited and got just a really great vibe from the team. I also really loved the school outside of squash. From the school culture, the open curriculum, I kind of got a feeling and just really loved it here.
What has been your favorite class at Brown?
I’ve loved everything I’ve taken in the history department. I’m an international relations major, but I think my favorite classes have been in history. I’ve tried to take a little bit of everything, stuff from all different regions.
What do you like most about Providence?
I like that it’s kind of a small city, but there’s always a lot of new stuff to kind of explore. I would say the weather is the only downside. It’s kind of a creative city, which I think is pretty cool. There’s just a lot of up and coming and going on.
As a senior, do you have any plans for post-graduation?
I’m going to be working for Proctor and Gamble in sales and marketing. But I’m not sure where I’ll be yet. I guess I could be anywhere in the continental U.S., so it’s kind of an adventure.