Vaclav “Vasek” Schneider came to the Fulton, Missouri private liberal arts school William Woods University (WWU) to play tennis from his native Czech Republic in 2021. Schneider first visited the U.S. on a family trip touring the east coast for several weeks when he was 12. Since that first impressionable visit, he has always greatly admired the U.S. and when the opportunity arose to play college tennis for the WWU Owls, Schneider happily accepted. As you will read, he is making a big impact on his campus and in PIKE.

Schneider was born in Prague, the only child of Dagmar and Richard Schneider. He grew up in Prague attending the Gymnázium na Vítězné Pláni school. He began playing tennis at age five, and at age eight signed for I.CLTK Praha (Czech Lawn Tennis Club, Prague), a leading European tennis club founded in 1893 which boasts an 8,000-seat stadium. Schneider played competitively there for 14 years and remains a member of the club.

As this article is published, college tennis’s governing body, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, ranks Schneider fifth in the country for singles in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) division. The NAIA is comprised of 250 colleges and universities, typically smaller, private and faith-based schools with fewer than 2,000 students. Schneider has held the number one spot in the NAIA singles rankings several times in 2024 and he is committed to staying in the top national rankings.

Schneider, completing his junior year this month, won the regional NAIA championship and was named men’s Player of the Year in the American Midwest/Heart of America/Sooner Athletic Conferences. Last year as a sophomore he also won the regional championship and was named the multi-conference men’s Player of the Year.

Pi Kappa Alpha’s Lambda Eta Chapter has been an important part of Schneider’s college experience to date. He tells Room 47, “I came to the United States not knowing fraternities existed. However, as soon as I got to campus, the Pikes made me feel like their best friend. Now, three years later, I can say that PIKE has helped me develop into the man I am now.”

Founded in 2001, Lambda Eta chapter operates at a university with a student body of 800 and limited interest in Greek life. The chapter counts 18 members today and several hundred alumni.  The chapter and its volunteers are proud Pikes and persevere, enjoying a solid brotherhood and fraternal experience. Lambda Eta Chapter President Will Rieves ‘22, says “Vasek is a guy that you’re always happy to see on campus and call a brother. He always greets you with a big smile on his face. He’s someone that we greatly appreciate in the house, and he’s most deserving of being Pike of the Month.”

Schneider is majoring in Business Administration with a Management Information Systems minor and holds a 3.6 GPA. In PIKE, Schneider is presently the academic chair and previously served as new member development VP.

At WWU Schneider has been named Athlete of the Year, Tennis Team MVP as a sophomore and this year holds the one-season singles wins record, is the combined season wins record holder, and he co-captains the Owls Tennis Team. Schneider also serves as a Community Advisor (RA) in his dorm.

Upon graduation in May 2025, Schneider plans to remain at WWU and pursue a Master of Business Administration degree at William Woods.

“I’m still deciding on what I’m going to do after graduate school. I will likely go back home to Czech Republic and start a business of my own.” Schneider will play in a professional tournament this summer, so he can’t count out a professional tennis career yet!

Schneider says Pi Kappa Alpha has been an essential part of his American educational journey by providing a sense of community and friendships. “I’ve become better in every field imaginable, and I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity. PIKE is going to be engraved in me for the rest of my life.”