Freshmen adapting to States

The women’s tennis team has been on a tear lately winning four straight with a season record of 5-1. I had the opportunity to speak with Khrystyna Pavlyuk, Anna Morozova, and Nastya Polyakova some of the international players on their success this year and how they have adapted to New York and American culture.  Being from overseas, the young ladies each chose to come to New York, because of the opportunity to experience what the city has to offer.

“I really like shopping here,” Nastya. “There are so many different stores and everything is cheaper than it is in Russia.”

“When I was young I knew I would be in New York,” Khrystyna said. “I don’t know why but I had a feeling and everything I expected of New York is here”.  “I love New York, I come from a small city and now that I’m here I couldn’t imagine living in a small city again, here everything is attractive,” said freshman Anna Morozova.

While they love New York and the cultural differences it is their passion and preparation for tennis that have them playing well.  Senior Khrystyna says that she has embraced the role as a leader for her teammates.

“I am more mature, patient,” Khrystyna said. “I definitely feel like the older one of the group.”  Being that this is her last year she ultimately wants to succeed on and off the court because tennis has raised her.

Nastya and Anna are a combined 10-1 at second and third singles and I asked them about their success.

“I just start very strong at the beginning and don’t let my opponent come back,” Nastya said. “I play smart and it is enough to beat some good tennis players.”

While Nastya was strategic with her response, Anna was more direct and straightforward.

“I’m Russian,” Nastya said. “I feel like I have to be the best, I just can’t lose”.  With a winning attitude the
freshman did acknowledge how she looks up to her teammates Nastya and Khrystyna in their leadership roles and hopes to carry the tradition in years to come.

The team will travel down south during spring break and will play at Tulane, South Alabama, and USF.  This road trip can start setting them apart from other teams in the conference if they continue their hot play.

“Recruiting internationally allows my staff and I to tap into a wider pool of talent,” Betrand said. “I think the
international students add great value to the university by bringing different cultural practices, languages and perspectives.”