Credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon Credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Mellon

As a four-year starter for the women’s basketball team, senior Rachelle Roll has been at the foundation of the program and has seen the team develop over the years. At the height of University Athletic Association (UAA) competition, Roll took time from her busy schedule to talk to The Tartan about her love for sports, the high demand of the architecture curriculum, and climbing the ranks in rebounding, blocks, and points scored for the Tartan team.

Tartan: When did you first start playing basketball? Were you interested in other sports growing up?
Roll: I first started playing basketball in the fourth grade. Basketball was not always my primary sport. In fact, I spent a majority of my time playing softball for my high school and then during the summer I played on a few traveling teams. We would travel to other states playing in tournaments against really great teams.

I decided in my senior year not to continue playing softball, which was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. Luckily my great friend Ashley had the girls’ basketball team participate in intramurals and we totally kicked butt on the softball field.

T: Do you plan to stay involved with the Carnegie Mellon team and the athletics department during your fifth year of architecture?
R: I do plan on staying very involved with the team next year. I am eligible to play for my fifth year because I qualified for a medical red-shirt my sophomore year due to a shoulder surgery.

T: What interests you most about architecture? If you could build a structure in Pittsburgh, what would it be and where?
R: I think my passion for architecture comes from knowing that something I design can impact and influence many people on a daily basis. The thought of occupying a building that I created is really exciting.

If I could build something in Pittsburgh, it would have to be a design that benefits from the three rivers and could adapt to its surroundings. Perhaps a night club on a barge that travels up and down the rivers and could dock near the sports arenas for after-game celebrations.

T: How do you balance studio work along with practice and game times during the season?
R: Balancing studio and basketball is definitely difficult but it’s something that I have gotten much better at. Freshman year was a huge struggle for me, but now I have the hang of balancing the two and it really helps to keep me motivated and prioritized. The architecture professors are normally very receptive to my basketball schedule and trust that I will get my work done.

T: Do you have any hobbies or activities that you like to do during your free time?
R: I still love to play softball and many other intramurals like volleyball, floor hockey, flag football. In terms of hobbies, I do occasionally paint and sketch to relax, but I think I could have fun doing any type of outdoor activity as well.

T: Are you planning anything fun for spring break or for this summer to take your mind off of the cold winter weather?
R: I haven’t finalized any of my plans for spring break or summer, however my teammate Lauren [Hirata] mentioned spring break at her place in California, so the colder it gets here, the better that option is looking. In terms of summer, I’m hoping to get an architecture internship in the Philadelphia area to further my experience in landscape or sustainable architecture practice.

T: Are you looking forward to any new movies coming out?
R: I am not always on top of the most recent movies to come out but I have wanted to see the new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, and I also think Gran Torino looks like a great movie.

Next up for the Tartans basketball squads are double-header home games against Case Western Reserve University and Emory University this Friday and Sunday at home in Skibo Gymansium.