This week’s player spotlight is Chandler Hertzler, part of the popular Hertzler family here in the Utah Roundnet community. The Hertzler’s were part of Utah Roundnet’s inaugural Spikeball league, and Chandler with his younger brother, Tate, quickly moved from average players to become the easy favorites by just our Fall season, and part of our group of hopeful Premier qualified players for 2019. But let’s start with some background before we get into that.
Chandler was born in SoCal, but that didn’t last long before his family moved to Utah when he was a baby. Growing up sports was always a big part of his life and he played a lot of baseball and basketball. But after his middle school basketball team got shut out (twice), he transitioned to playing tennis in high school, which I’d have to say gave him a leg up on his Spikeball serving game as he has developed quite the rocket of a serve.
After high school, he served a 2 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in the Arizona Tucson Mission. It was this time from June 2016-2018 that Chandler had what he describes as “the most important experience of [his] life.” Learning to develop a deeper love for Christ, but also it helped him grow as a man and get his priorities straight in his life. He also learned to love people, and learning to be truly interested and listen to others more - something he also loves about the Spikeball/roundnet community today.
He was introduced to Spikeball™ just the day after he got home from his mission by his family (again, this is just in June of 2018). His dad and two younger brothers had been playing while he was away, and it seems they were determined to get him caught up and get him to fall in love with the sport of roundnet as well. They went on a cruise to Alaska the following week, and on their drive up to port in Seattle they stopped in Idaho to play for just his 2nd time, and then found some guys on the Spikeball™ app in Seattle to play with. It was here that he realized the sport is more than just hitting it on the net, but that they had a process to their serves and their game was calculated as a whole.
Not only did he learn more about the sport in Seattle, but also realized how great the Spikeball™ community is; no matter where you go, no matter how bad you are, the people are kind and willing to help you have as much fun as possible. It was that advice and kind words that this rookie received, that helped ignite his love for the sport. On their cruise, they played every day on the sports deck, and also took their net on shore to play along the waterfalls and glaciers. When they got back home, as previously mentioned, the Hertzler family joined the URA League in the Summer and Fall seasons and they also started going to Tuesday Spike with some of the legends of the sport down in Provo.
In Chandler’s quick first 6 months of Spikeball he’s competed in 6 tournaments, 4 local Utah tournaments and 2 Spikeball National tournaments: West Regionals and Nationals. At the latest one in November down in St. George he learned to care about defense (giving thanks to Anthony and Stokes), and has also been developing his cut serve which his fingers have bled from the hundreds of attempts (did I mention he’s got a rocket of a serve?) His goals in 2019 are to quickly qualify for Premier and start competing in as many SRA Tour Stops as possible, hoping to make it to at least 1 in each region. Unfortunately, his brother and teammate will be heading out for an LDS mission of his own and Chandler will be on the market for a new partner.
Going to National tournaments brings in his love of people, traveling, and of course Spikeball all together for one amazing experience. Whether it’s the 11 hour road trips with friends (new and old), staying with locals and experiencing things he would never get to otherwise, and just going to grab some grub after a long day with other ballers; going to a Spikeball™ tournament is one of the best ways to spend his weekend.