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Alexandrina Chinikova settles into Marquette after transfer from Tulsa

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Alexandrina Chinikova settles into Marquette after transfer from Tulsa

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

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In the last two years, sophomore tennis player Alexandrina Chinikova has not only learned how to adjust to American culture, but she also had to adjust to two different regions of the United States.

Born in Saint-Cannat, France, Chinikova had to make a life-changing decision after high school: either play tennis at a higher level in the United States, or pursue a higher education in Europe. Since universities in Europe do not offer programs that allow students to play sports at a high level while pursuing a degree, Chinikova’s passion for tennis with her studies influenced her decision to go the United States.

The University of Tulsa caught Chinikova’s eye, but it wasn’t until a visit from Tulsa assistant coach Lenka Broosova that she felt secure with making her choice.

“I started the whole recruiting process a little late, so I couldn’t come visit universities as a lot of players do,” Chinikova said. “Everything (the assistant coach) said made me feel comfortable and confident about where I was going.”

Not long after arriving in the United States and settling with her new team, Chinikova said she realized the environment at Tulsa was not what she wanted out of her college experience.

“I wanted to be closer to a city where there are more opportunities after college,” Chinikova said. “I wanted a place where there was good chemistry within the team and somewhere the team could work together as a whole, which I was personally missing in Tulsa.”

Chinikova pushed through the remainder of her freshman season, finishing 8-8 in singles and 1-1 in doubles. Tulsa finished its 2017-’18 season 23-6 overall, but Chinikova still longed for a change.

After visiting Marquette’s campus, she said she became enthusiastic about the opportunities the city of Milwaukee could provide her.

When she met Marquette tennis coaches Jody Bronson and Dusan Medan, she felt confident with the thought of becoming a Golden Eagle.

“I really liked the coaches. … We spend so much time with them on the court that we need to feel comfortable, and I think that the fact that they care about our opinion and what we think is very important,” Chinikova said.

Leaving her new friends at Tulsa behind wasn’t easy, but Chinikova said she had to make a choice that would benefit her tennis and post graduate career.

Now, eight games into her season as a Golden Eagle, Chinikova said she strongly believes her new team has filled the empty void she felt at Tulsa. Most recently, she competed at No. 4 singles against University of Iowa.

“Things are going good so far … I think that we have a great team and the coaches are also doing a great job,” Chinikova said. “We all really like each other and everyone is very different, but I think that we really connect.”

Chinikova said she believes Marquette women’s tennis has played very well so far this season and has the potential to claim a BIG EAST title.

“I strongly believe we have everything we need,” Chinikova said. “We had a pretty good start of the season … there’s a lot of matches ahead still, but we build confidence with every single match. … I’m sure great things are coming.”

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