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From Bavaria to the Big Leagues: The Journey of an International Athlete

From Bavaria to the Big Leagues: The Journey of an International Athlete

Loyola Marymount University (LMU)  is home to some extraordinary student athletes, and the women’s tennis team is an exemplary sector of that prowess. 

One of those star competitors is Eva Marie Voracek, an international student at LMU. She was born and raised in Germany, where she currently resides due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s been playing tennis for most of her life. 

“I started when I was very little.” Voracek said, “when I was eight, I began to play regularly.” 

She was a multisport athlete throughout her childhood, competing in ice hockey, practicing taekwondo, and dancing ballet concurrently. At 11 years old, Voracek decided to focus solely on her tennis career.

She went on to compete for the Voehlin Gymnasium for 10 years in Mannheim, Germany, winning the 2017 Bavarian Junior Championships. In her last year of secondary school, she faced a tough decision when it came to college. In Europe, she would have been forced to decide between her academic career and her athletic passion. 

“I wanted to go to college, but at the same time, I didn’t want to stop playing tennis.” Voracek remarked when talking about her decision to come to LMU, “The U.S. is pretty much the only country that makes it possible.”

She committed to Loyola Marymount University in 2017 and under the guidance of head coach Agustin Moreno, the Women’s Tennis Team went on to have an astonishing 17-6 season. 

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Voracek herself had an overall 20-7 singles record and was named WCC singles player of the week on April 3. On top of her phenomenal first year as a singles competitor, she had a 13-3 duals record that secured her spot on the All-WCC second team. Paired with her partner Veronica Miroshnichenko, she had a 23-8 2018 season, advanced to Round 16 of the Division 1 Championships, and was named first team All-WCC. “We broke every record the first year I got there.”

Although she has a solid collegiate record, the prospects of following through with a professional tennis career are shaky. “It’s very risky,” Voracek said when asked about a potential pro career, “You may be a top 600 player in the world, but you don’t make a living out of it. You really have to be top 100.”

Attending LMU to play tennis was a happy medium that she found. “I get four more years to think about [going pro], but I can also get my degree.” She’s currently a senior Journalism major at the school. Apart from a tennis career, she aims to work in broadcasting or public relations in the future.

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