Tennis Team Knows No Borders
AMES, Iowa- For many student-athletes the transition from club to college athletics can be riddled with challenges: new coaches, new teammates, balancing the rigors of collegiate academics with a heavy workout schedule. All can take their toll on the most well-prepared athletes. Iowa State tennis players Maria Fernanda Macedo and Caroline Hauge Andersen face all this and more as international student-athletes.
Hauge Andersen, a freshman and native of Bergen, Norway said the language barrier has proven most the biggest transition for her to college.
"I have always been able to write and speak English. However, the liberal arts courses are demanding regarding speaking and writing correctly," Hauge Andersen said.
Macedo, a senior from Mexico City, Mexico expressed similar sentiment regarding obstacles most of her teammates do not encounter.
"I am very far from home, so it is hard for me to go home as often as I would like, or for [my family] to come visit me."
Head coach Armando Espinosa said despite the challenges international student-athletes often face, he still enjoys recruiting outside of the United States. It is illustrated by a roster that currently has five players who are not originally from America.
"In the United States it's kind of expected going to college whereas in other countries it's more like a privilege and a huge honor," Espinosa said. "I think they see that opportunity and they are always grateful."
Espinosa also acknowledged that international players tend to have more experience competing under high stakes. "The international players are on their own with their coaches, so they get a little more experience before they come to America," Espinosa said.
Despite the extra trials, both Macedo and Hauge Andersen say they are pleased with their decisions to become Cyclones. Macedo admits there are times when she misses being home in Mexico City, but the Cyclone has never regretted her decision to come to Iowa State. Macedo has ascended to the Cyclones' No. 1 single's player during her senior campaign, and the future is bright for Hauge Andersen as she has shown signs of promise during her first year in Ames.
With the accomplishments of players like Macedo and Hauge Andersen, Espinosa's belief in bringing student-athletes from outside American soil to Iowa State is a mutually flourishing recipe for success for both the student-athletes and Iowa State.
- Written by Elizabeth Stranahan