She might not preempt Anna Kournikova who frequently surfaces on our media channels.
However, Anna Khvalina, who may soon find her name in newsworthy athletic discussions around campus, is a close second that UR can claim for its own.
Khvalina was selected Jan. 24 as head coach of the women?s tennis team, replacing the long tenure of Judith Paul.
Khvalina earned four letters for the women?s tennis team at Syracuse University and led the team as a captain her senior year. She is also a tennis instructor for junior and adult programs at the Tennis Club of Webster and The Country Place.
Khvalina said she is excited to engage in her new position as head coach.
Though she is placed in a different role ? the mentor as opposed to the apprentice ? Khlavina remains in a situation in which she must balance athletic recreation, academics and personal needs.
The 23-year old graduate possesses a barrage of accolades and credits.
Her academic achievements include a bachelor?s degree in public and international relations and magna cum laude distinction.
Khlavina?s youth may be a key advantage, since it enables her to relate to her players and their approaches toward the game.
?Our whole team is very excited to see Anna here,? said junior Deepa Popuri. ?She knows the game so well and we are all confident that she can teach us. We think she can improve what we have, yet with a flexible approach.?
Khvalina said she will not try to alter the current system in a radical way. However, she also recognizes that coaching requires communication and understanding with players individually as well as a unit. Khvalina intends to set up personal meetings not only to handle scheduling issues, but ?in order to discover what their individual goals are, how to focus on them and to help achieve them as best as possible.?
She hopes to make their collegiate tennis experience what the players want it to be.
As for preparation, the team believes it will be ready mentally and physically for the challenges in the upcoming spring season, which starts in early March.
?I don?t want this to be so much of a transition process,? Khvalina said. ?Though we are still settling in, I think we?ll do fairly well with what we have. Tennis-wise we will be there.?
Statistically, Women?s tennis is definitely a talented crew.
Last season, it made its third appearance in three years in the NCAA Div. III Tennis Championships, along with hosting the University Athletic Association Championships in April.
The team has high hopes of returning to nationals once again. The Yellowjackets compiled a dominating 6-1 record in the fall.