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Friday, Sep 29, 2023

Seven Questions with Alexis Ballo ’25, men’s squash

Alexis Ballo ’25 reaches for a shot. COURTESY OF WILL COSTELLO
Alexis Ballo ’25 reaches for a shot. COURTESY OF WILL COSTELLO

Alexis Ballo ’25, from Baltimore, Md., is a first-year on the men’s squash team. In this installment of “Seven Questions,” Ballo discusses what drew him to Middlebury, his favorite memory on the squash team and his favorite dining hall meal. 

Blaise Siefer: When and why did you start playing squash?

Alexis Ballo: I started hitting when I was four. That was because my dad played — he played a bit after college.  

BS: What drew you to Middlebury? 

AB: The coaches, Mark Lewis and David Cromwell, are fantastic. Also, I talked to a few people on the team [before applying] and they said the community was really strong, and the academics at Middlebury are obviously rigorous. Overall, the community, coaches and team vibe all seemed really strong. 

BS: What’s been your favorite memory on the team? 

AB: We were playing Tufts in the NESCAC tournament at Trinity College. We were tied 4–4 and we needed our captain [Nate Moll] to win his match. Well, he was down 2–1, and the day before he had a 103 degree fever. But he managed to come back, win the fourth game, and win the fifth game, 11–1. And we all ran onto the court and lifted him up –– that was awesome.

BS: What’s your favorite part about the team? 

AB: It’s really a welcoming community. Getting acclimated to Middlebury while knowing people was really helpful. If you have questions about life or anything, they’re family, and we’re all here together. We’re all very lucky to have each other. 

BS: What’s one goal you have during your time on the squash team at Middlebury? 

AB: This year, we lost a few matches to Bates, Amherst and Williams, so I would really like to see us beat them. We beat Bates after losing twice to them this season, but I would love to see us beat them consistently. 

BS: Favorite dining hall meal?

AB: Proc’s thanksgiving. It’s sneaky good. Everyone hates it but it’s sneaky good. The turkey is delicious –– I love turkey. And the gravy! You get a little salad on the side, too, and it’s just great. 

BS: What’s one Middlebury bucket list item?

AB: I would love to hike the TAM. I’ve been to the Knoll but I haven’t been around it much. I love hiking. It’s super fun and a great way to get close to people. 

Editor’s Note: This interview has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.

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Blaise Siefer

Blaise Siefer ‘23.5 is a sports staff writer.

Siefer is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Spanish.

For three semesters in 2021 and 2022, Siefer served as Senior Sports Editor. He also co-founded a Middlebury sports recap podcast, PFL Weekly, which is released on all major streaming platforms every Tuesday. 

Siefer is also the Co-Founder and Co-President of Middlebury Club Soccer.