Senior Andrew Orischak was having his best season for the Cavaliers when COVID-19 ended it prematurely. Accepted to graduate school, he’ll return next year for one final tour at UVA. Hoos Life caught up to him to check in on his life and how’s he is keeping his golf game sharp.
Question: You’re going to exercise your option to return for an extra year. How excited are you to do that and what went into that decision?
Orischak: I am very grateful and excited for the opportunity to return an extra year. Attending the University of Virginia as a student-athlete has been the best experience of my life. With the NCAA granting us another year of eligibility, it was a no-brainer on my part in deciding whether I wanted to return or not. I talked to Coach (Bowen) Sargent and he offered me a spot on the team next year. Though I was late in the application process, I was able to get accepted into a graduate program of my choosing. So here I am, with a great opportunity to continue on my journey at UVA.
Q: Have you found any amateur events to compete in this summer?
Orischak: Unfortunately, many of the amateur events have been canceled this summer. As of now, I am resorting to playing with some fellow college golfers around my hometown to fulfill my competitive desires.
Q: What are you doing to practice and keep your game sharp while not competing in tournaments?
Orischak: I have been very fortunate in the sense that a lot of the golf courses down here in (Hilton Head Island) South Carolina have been open for play throughout this pandemic. I have been practicing and playing about the same amount as normal, just without tournament competition. I’ve tried to spin the lack of tournament play into a positive and use this time to develop different parts of my game.
Q: How are you dealing with cabin fever. What are some things you are doing now that you don’t normally do to fill your time?
Orischak: The cabin fever has definitely taken its toll at times. Thankfully, I am surrounded by a lot of loved ones at home and we have sort of gone through this whole thing together. To pass the time, we have enjoyed things such as piecing together old puzzles, watching old movies, and learning to cook new things.
Q: Do you have a new guilty pleasure?
Orischak: My new guilty pleasure has been peanut butter. Love that stuff! Can eat it with anything.
Q: What’s something new you have learned to do during the self-quarantine?
Orischak: I’ve started to do a little bit of guided yoga through this app that I downloaded on my phone. I’ve come to really enjoy it, so definitely a positive out of the self-quarantine.
Q: Have you experimented with cooking? Any successes?
Orischak: I have experimented with cooking a little bit here and there. If you were to ask my family, I’m sure they’d tell you the only successes are in my morning omelets. They do seem to like those though!
Q: Have you binge watched or read anything you’d like to share?
Orischak: I’ve been binge watching Ozark recently. I’m sure many of you have seen it, but if not, I highly recommend it!
Q: How often do you communicate with your teammates now?
Orischak: We all still communicate just about daily. We have a group chat that is pretty active from day to day, and we all get along so well. That has been fun. I think we have leaned on each other a bit throughout this whole thing. I know that whenever I am feeling a little down, I can always reach out to anyone of them or fire a text into the group chat and my mood will instantly brighten. We are lucky to have a great group of teammates.
Q: How do you keep yourself motivated with such a disruption in your schedule?
Orischak: I don’t think it’s very hard for me to keep motivated in these times. It helps that I am able to return for another year. It gives me something to work towards. It’s always easy to stay motivated when you’re a part of the UVA community.
Q: How did on-line classes go? Anything in particular you found interesting about the process?
Orischak: The on-line classes went alright for me. I certainly missed walking through
Grounds to class every morning and listening to an in-person lecture by one of UVA’s great professors. Nothing can replace that, but the University did a great job in adapting to our new situation and providing us with the proper resources to finish off the semester. One thing I found interesting about the whole process is how unifying the switch to on-line classes was. It seems counterintuitive, but throughout the whole on-line process, the professors made a great effort to try and bring everyone together.
Q: What do you miss most about golf right now?
Orischak: I miss practicing with my teammates, playing with them on the weekends at Spring Creek or Keswick Hall. I miss talking to the coaches, learning from them and growing from their guidance. I miss going into competition with the team, with a common goal and that strong desire to win.
Q: How excited are you to get back to Cville and to play Birdwood when it reopens this summer?
Orischak: Very excited! Cannot wait. The pictures look great.
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