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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

New Beginnings: AU tennis welcomes international athletes from all over the world

What brings the international players to come to the United States and play for Ashland University?
Retrieved with permission from AU Athletics
Eagle international women’s tennis players stand together with their respective national flags.

For the past two years, the Ashland University tennis teams have had a variety of international players make impacts on the program. For men’s and women’s teams, it has been quite a common thing to have a mix of players from all over the world. Unlike the men’s side, the women’s team is a heavy international team with only now having two players from the United States.  

So, what brings the international players to come to the United States and play for Ashland University?  

AU Women’s Tennis

Reported by Claudia Adcock

Three international players, Ana Penteado, Anna Corbel and Coni Arancibia, all mentioned it was for several reasons but the main reason they agreed on was how someone had mentioned to them about the opportunity of playing tennis while in school and getting to study abroad. For them, this was a huge opportunity they did not want to pass up on. 

From where they are from, playing sports in college does not exist, and getting to study in America allows them to continue their career.  

For sophomore Anna Corbel, it was an easy yes to come to America.

“Who wouldn’t say yes to go to America, have a scholarship to play your passion, learn a new language, a new culture, be able to travel, and have the best experience for your future,” she said.

All three of these Eagle athletes grew up trying tennis because of their parents and for Penteado, it was because of her father and brother. Penteado’s older brother, Lucas Penteado, is a senior now at Newman University playing for their men’s team.  

Due to that, she had a lot of support on her move to the United States 

“After starting to play better, I got to know a lot of people that came here to the United States,” she said. “My brother was one of these people. My family and brother supported me to come here and find new opportunities.”  

Each of these athletes have enjoyed their time here, even though it has been an adjustment being in a new culture and new language.

These athletes are excited for what the spring season has to offer for them, and are looking forward to having more time to experience the culture here in the offseason. Arancibia has really had some great memories already since coming to AU in the spring.  

“All of the activities on campus have been really fun and doing that combined with studying what I love and playing tennis is a whole memory for me,” said Arancibia. “I really have enjoyed being part of the women’s tennis team and getting to represent AU and at the same time be able to get a great education.” 

With the spring season just around the corner, the goal has been to work even harder for Arancibia.

“We all get along so well, and we have been practicing hard to get better results in the Spring, so I am very excited for what is going on,” she said. “My personal goal is to get a better record than last season in both doubles and singles. As a team, I would love to get to regionals.”  

Not only does the team collaborate so well, but they also love getting to learn about each other.  

“I love being part of the tennis team, I have a good relationship with everyone. I love the fact that we’re an international team and getting to know each other’s cultures is amazing,” said Penteado. 

New Eagle Head Coach Eric Gibson, has loved getting to coach the international athletes this season and looks forward to seasons to come.

“Ana, Anna, and Coni have been working hard and setting a good example in matches and at practices. They give great energy and effort each day,” he said. “They have played a big role in winning matches for us this fall season. I am most excited for this spring season with these players in particular is to see their growth in their tennis game. They’ve been improving their games throughout the non-championship fall season, and I am really looking forward to coaching them this spring, too.”  

With having new teams, he really has enjoyed having a mix of international and local players to coach. 

 “I really appreciate having a mix of both international and American tennis talent on the roster. Everyone is from different backgrounds, and we learn so much about each other as a result,” said Gibson. “Overall, having a diverse team of tennis athletes is a really great aspect of college tennis.” 

AU Men’s Tennis

Reported by Alaina Kathrein

On the men’s side international athletes make up almost the entirety of the team, with six of the eight members being international.  

Gabriel Seminario; a Sophomore from Lima, Peru, came to AU mainly to be a student athlete and major in political science. Gabriel was always interested in pursuing a career and continuing to compete in a sport he loves. 

“The thing I like about the US is that it is ‘the land of opportunities.’ The amount and variety of opportunities is so broad that I feel like there is a very big margin to grow as a professional,” said Seminario. 

Benedikt Weinborner is a member of the men’s team, he is a sophomore from Berlin, Germany and is Majoring in Economics. Weinborner loves the American culture surrounding sports and the competitiveness Americans’ have towards athletics.  

“About AU I love how convenient and close everything on campus is. The fact that I can study, play my sport on a high level and recover so well all in one place is awesome,” said Weinborner. 

Tomas Paskauskas is currently a sophomore from London, England majoring in International Business. Paskauskas came to AU to keep playing his sport at a higher level, and of course earn a degree.  

“AU has allowed me to fulfil my passion and continue playing tennis,” said Paskauskas. 

The last team member from around the world is Freshman Rodrigo Ludgero from Brazil. Ludegro, like many, decided to come to the United States and AU to keep playing his sport and continue schooling.  

“What I love most about AU is the friends I made and the connections created,” said Ludgero. 

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