Thursday, January 27, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 82

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About the Cougar

Seliounina ready for final campaign

By Justin Taillon
The Daily Cougar Staff

Moving to a new country is hard. Most of us cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like.

But UH senior tennis star Galina Seliounina experienced first-hand the difficulties of living in a foreign country.

UH senior Galina Seliounina returns for the Spring season as the leader of the Cougar tennis squad. In the Fall, she posted a record of 10-7 along with a 7-2 mark in doubles.

Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

She traveled from Minsk, once known as Western Russia, to the United States nearly three years ago. She had to leave behind her parents, and knew only a few English words when she arrived in the United States.

"I only knew about 400 words," Seliounina said. "We were supposed to take English in Russia, but I never really learned it."

Once here she wowed multitudes of people with her talent on the tennis court, and quickly learned the English language. Her first full season as a member of the UH tennis team was filled with great memories, including a ninth-place finish in the final standings in the Southwest region, as well as making C-USA's First Team All-Conference.

She still had not finished impressing the nation. She played doubles with partner Sarah Borwell, and the pair finished the season ranked 25th in the nation. Together, they compiled an extraordinary 18-2 record against the Southwest region.

This year, Seliounina is looking forward to her best season yet, although many obstacles lay ahead. The tennis team has a new coach, Jennifer Hyde, and Seliounina says that she pushes the team very hard.

"We had to get up and run at six in the morning," Seliounina said. "She was also quick to change some things. But (coach Hyde) has our respect."

This year, Seliounina's goal is to reach the NCAA tournament, which she accomplished last season.

"I didn't get far enough last year, so I want to get farther this year," she said.

Seliounina is ranked 44th in the nation for singles to start the year, and 12th in the nation in doubles action, along with Borwell.

Life will not always be tennis for Seliounina, though. After school she wants to get a job in the field of sociology, her major. Although she thinks about going back to Minsk after school, she will probably remain in the United States.

Overall, Seliounina's American experience has been pleasant and she does not hope to leave anytime soon.

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