-Marcelo, Contributing Writer
Mississippi College has been a DII college for only one semester, but many of the changes can be noticed around campus already. One of these differences is the growing number of international players. Now that our coaches have scholarships to distribute, they have started seeking new athletes in the United States, but also from different countries.
That is the case of Sofia Carrera, 19, from Argentina, who became the first international athlete to join Mississippi College women’s tennis. “Actually I didn’t know I was going to be the first one, but I guess it doesn’t change much. Somebody had to be the first, and it happened to be me. Now the door is open for new players to come,” Carrera said.
She started playing tennis when she was six years old as a hobby, since her father and uncle used to be tennis coaches. At the age of eight she played her first tournament, and two years later she was number one in her category in Argentina. At the age of 12 she was still ranked in the top ten of Argentina, but she was playing bigger tournaments. “When I was 12 I started playing some really competitive tournaments. I played international tournaments in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay. In these tournaments I had the chance to play against girls from all over the Americas,” she said.
When she turned 18, Carrera decided she wanted to go to college in the United States and knew that she could use her tennis skills to get a scholarship. This way, she would have a strong formation and also get to keep playing tennis. Besides Mississippi College, Carrera had offers from tennis coaches from 16 other universities in the United States. “I was contacted by a lot of colleges, but the reason why I picked MC was that Coach David Boteler and his assistant Jacob Womack treated me great since the first email. They were always willing and ready to help me with my doubts and anything else I needed.”
Since the tennis season starts in the spring, Carrera has only played one tournament for Mississippi College, but she is really looking forward to representing MC next semester. “I can’t wait to start playing the season. We played an off-season tournament in Florida, and I had the chance to see how seriously people take tennis here, and it also gave an idea of how hard I’ll have to practice to represent MC in the best way possible,” Carrera said.