July 14, 2013
I interviewed Vanderbilt women’s golf rising senior Rene Sobolewski to catch up on her summer in Buffalo, N.Y. Sobolewski enjoys showing off her skills in summer tournaments as well as fun two-man scrambles. We are both headed to Tanzania next week with a group of Commodore student-athletes to distribute shoes for Soles4Souls, and cannot wait to see what the trip has in store for us!
(Photo: Rene Sobolewski, far right, during a summer round of golf with former Commodore and LPGA golfer Marina Alex, left, and the LPGA’s Lisa Ferrero and Cindy Miller.)
Liz Anderson: You recently played in the Women’s Porter Cup and did very well. Are you competing in other tournaments this summer?
Rene Sobolewski: I played in the Women's Western Amateur in Dayton, Ohio, a few weeks ago. I'll participate in the New York State Women's Amateur and then I'll try to qualify for the US Women's Amateur, so if I make it, I'd play that in August. But that's it for this summer because of the trip to Africa—it overlaps with a number of tournaments in July.
LA: Do summer tournaments help you keep the rust off to stay competitive? Did your coach suggest it to you?
RS: It's definitely suggested by coach, but it's important to keep myself in competition-mode and put things I'm working on into tournament play.
LA: Do you run into athletes that you have played with before in the summer tournaments?
RS: I see so many people I've played with before, which is nice. It's good to see them outside of a college team environment. This year I even traveled to a tournament with a local golf friend, which was a lot of fun.
LA: Outside of tournaments, what else have you been up to this summer?
RS: I've just been practicing, trying to see friends and family as much as I can, and catching up on season 1 of Nashville!
LA: I’m sure you get this question a lot, but do you ever golf for fun with Curt [Casali] or your dad? Any stories? Can you beat them?
RS: Whenever I'm not playing tournament golf, I'm always still competing against friends from home, otherwise it's not fun for me. We usually play team best-ball matches, which lets us stay competitive, but it's still relaxed and fun. I absolutely love to play with Curt and his baseball teammates because it's not too often they get free time during season. I've gotten to know some of them so well just by playing 18 holes. Curt and I are always teammates in our two-man scrambles and I think we have a flawless record so far!
LA: You are going to be a senior next year. Looking back on your first three years, what has been the most memorable?
RS: NCAA regionals my freshman year was so memorable because we made a bunch of birdies in the last few holes to give ourselves a chance to slip into the eighth qualifying spot. When we finished, we were in a huddle refreshing GolfStat on our phones to see if we made it. All of a sudden we freaked out when we realized a player from another team doubled the last hole, which led us to a team playoff, a unique experience in itself. We ended up winning to go to nationals. It was so surreal, especially as a freshman.
LA: What are you looking forward to most coming back to school?
RS: I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and moving into our new apartment. It's our first year living off campus, so that's exciting. And don't get me wrong, I love Buffalo, but I really can't wait to get back to Nashville. There's just never a dull moment there.
LA: Do you have individual or team goals for the upcoming season?
RS: Right now my goal is just to be a good leader and role model for the incoming freshman as I'm one of two seniors on the team. I also want to take some pressure off myself and stay focused on the process, and make sure I'm enjoying and being grateful for every moment.
LA: It’s always harder to stay motivated to workout when you are not on campus, especially in the summer. Have you been able to keep up with workouts?
RS: It's definitely a lot harder, but I start to fear what [Vanderbilt weight coach Kristina] Jeffries has in store for us in the fall, so whenever that pops into my head I pretty much force myself to go to the gym. I workout with a trainer about twice a week and then on my own one or two other days.
LA: I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Tanzania in July. What excites you about the trip? What do you hope to get out of it?
RS: I honestly still can't believe that we're going! I'm just so excited that we get to be with other athletes, in such an incredible place, and hopefully we can brighten so many people's days. I can't even imagine what else the trip has in store for us, but I hope to simply gain a greater perspective that will help ground me on those days during the semester when you just don't think you're going to make it through. We're so lucky to have the opportunity to have this experience, and I hope that it can be continued for years to come.
Summer Scoop Archive
Men's Cross Country: Andrew Bachman
Men's Tennis: Ryan Lipman
Women's Cross Country: Rebecca Chandler
Men's Basketball: Shelby Moats