first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After No. 27 Syracuse’s final home match this season, Sofya Golubovskaya walked off the court with tears in her eyes. She cried neither because it was Senior Day for her doubles partner nor because her first collegiate season was almost over.She cried because she had a bad match.In a day filled with emotions, SU’s only freshman was frustrated with herself after her match went unfinished at 4-6, 6-2, 1-4. She walked off the courts at Drumlins Country Club and declined to talk to the media.But almost instantly, her teammates were there to comfort her.“I’ve had a lot of struggles this year,” Golubovskaya said, “but now I have a team to help me, and I love it.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGolubovskaya, a native of Moscow, came to Syracuse for the first time on Jan. 10. In more than three months, she has dealt with a multitude of adjustments. One of her biggest culture shocks was being a part of a team rather than playing as an individual, Golubovskaya said. It was new to her. A team, an aspect of tennis she once questioned, has driven her to improve her game as a regular at third singles for the Orange.For all of her life before arriving at SU, Golubovskaya competed alone in tournaments in Russia and Europe. Playing on a team was a concept she didn’t understand.“Tennis (is) not a team sport,” Golubovskaya said. “It was really new for me. I wasn’t ready at first.”A couple of weeks into Golubovskaya’s transition, junior Gabriela Knutson said the freshman was hesitant to bond with her new team. During team practices, SU works on cheering for teammates at matches, mostly during changeovers and in between points. That was something Golubovskaya had to get used to.“The first day here she didn’t cheer (with us) at all,” Knutson said. “It was like she didn’t understand what was going on.”One thing that helped her was that three of her seven teammates speak Russian. Anna Shkudun, Golubovskaya’s doubles partner, and Libi Mesh speak Russian, and Maria Tritou can hold a conversation in Russian from time to time, Golubovskaya said. Interactions with them helped Golubovskaya forget about the language barriers in her new life.To ease Golubovskaya’s adjustment, SU head coach Younes Limam wanted to mimic some of the tactics he used with then-freshman Miranda Ramirez last season. Limam set up biweekly meetings with Golubovskaya and associate head coach Shelley George.The meetings focused on her biggest challenges. Of the wide range of acclimations, Limam pointed toward understanding her coaches, teammates and professors as some of the toughest. At times, Golubovskaya sought advice during those encounters, while other times she asked for favors such as getting a ride to the mall, she said.Most of the season, Golubovskaya played third singles behind Knutson and Ramirez. During a pivotal three-match stretch against ranked teams, Golubovskaya won three-straight matches against then-No. 44 Clemson, then-No. 16 Wake Forest and then-No. 48 Louisville.This is the first season Golubovskaya has worried about playing teams and not just individuals. She used to only rely on herself to reach her goals. Now, Golubovskaya has seven other players on her side.“All my life I was just taking care of myself and nobody else,” Golubovskaya said, “Now that I’m here, I see that my teammates can help me in life.” Comments Published on April 30, 2018 at 10:58 pm Contact KJ: kjedelma@syr.edu | @KJEdelmanlast_img read more

first_img 11 11 11 11 11 11 1. David de Gea (goalkeeper) – click the arrow above, right, to see the possible Manchester United line-up against Stoke in squad number order 28. Morgan Schneiderlin (centre midfield) 11 Youth will be given a chance to shine on Tuesday night as Manchester United take on Stoke at Old Trafford.Injuries to several senior full-backs mean youngsters Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson could are set for spells in the first-team.As the Potters roll into town, Matteo Darmian is the latest Red Devils star to succumb to injury, with a rib problem ruling him out.He joins the likes of Ashley Young, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw on the sidelines.So who will start the clash, which is now must-win after a late defeat to Southampton in their last Premier League outing?Click the right arrow above to see our predicted Manchester United XI… 11 11 11 35. Jesse Lingard (winger) 16. Michael Carrick (centre midfield) 12. Chris Smalling (centre back) 10. Wayne Rooney (striker) 8. Juan Mata (attacking midfield) 17. Daley Blind (centre back) 30. Guillermo Varela (right back) 9. Anthony Martial (winger) 11 43. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (left back)last_img read more