BY: PATRICK PHAM
Coming all the way from Russia, 20-year-old Karolina Rozenberg started playing tennis since she was seven years old, she describes the change from Russia to the U.S. as exciting being able to travel and play tennis at the same time. Rozenberg started out with gymnastics then tried out swimming, skiing, track and eventually grew more into tennis. Both her parents have athletic backgrounds as well; her mom practiced gymnastics while her dad played soccer.
Back in Russia, she competed professionally in junior tournaments known as International Tennis Federation (ITF) which is a worldwide professional tournament for juniors. She ranked number 360 in the ITF junior world rankings.
During her sophomore year at CSULB, Rozenberg and her doubles partner, Ebba Unden earned Big West team honors. They both went 22-5 through the season helping CSULB earn its third title in the Big West. Rozenberg went 27-8 in singles and 23-15 in doubles during her junior year.
She feels her backhand is the strongest part of her game and enjoys playing both singles and doubles.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed having Karolina on the team. She is a very talented and hardworking tennis player as well as an excellent student. She has been a big part of our success the last three years and I know she is going to have another great season this year,” women’s tennis head coach, Jenny Hilt-Costello said.
On her free time, she usually studies or hangs out with friends. Her major is international business which deals with import and exports field and has done a marketing internship at the California Interscholastic Federation. Her future plans do include tennis, but not professionally, she wants to focus on school and hopefully find a stable job.
She describes Long Beach as a great place to be and the tennis team as a wonderful experience.
“Jenny is like a mom to us, she’s a great coach and motivator and takes care of us well,” Rozenberg said.
The team practices three hours every day from 2-5 while weekends usually consist of games. As of now, Long Beach is preparing for the main season which starts next semester.
"I am excited about the upcoming season because we have a very motivated and talented team. We are hoping to improve on the strong results that we had last season," Costello said.