Sophomore tennis player leading women’s team once again

Sophomore Olivera Ngouabeu gets ready to hit the ball during a practice in February. Ngouabeu was named All-GSC as a freshman and is the No. 1 singles player for the Lions.

Sophomore women’s tennis player Olivera Ngouaben is 4,458.34 miles from her home in Paris.

Although she misses her family, she said she is enjoying her time at UNA.

“The Lions on campus are my favorite part,” Ngouaben said.

The adjustment to college tennis is hard, but Ngouaben said her teammates have really helped ease the transition.

“They are like a family. They help me with school, tennis and everything,” she said. “The first time I got here, I didn’t really speak good English, so that was kind of hard. And we have guys on the team from France also, so that really helped.”

Last year as a freshman Ngouaben was named first-team All Gulf South Conference.

Head coach Brice Bishop said he is excited to have Ngouaben back for another season.

“Olivera brings a lot of energy to the team,” he said. “She is a talented player who seems to get better everyday. The sky is the limit for Olivera. She can be as good as she wants to be.”

Coming off a personally successful 2014 season, Ngouaben is excited for another chance to dominate the court, she said.

She said she is optimistic about the team this year.

“This season, I have a good feeling. I feel like this team plays really good, and we can do much better than last year,” Ngouaben said.

She said the women’s tennis team is working hard, and aiming to win regionals.

The women’s tennis team started the season (2-3, 1-1) and face Mississippi College next March 6 at 2 p.m. in Clinton, Mississippi.

“She has started the 2015 season playing great,” Bishop said. “She’s 4-1, with the lone loss coming against Monika Kochanova of West Florida, who is ranked No. 4 nationally, and it was a very competitive match.”