Stefania Nicolae is a sophomore at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and is in her second year of playing tennis. She had an outstanding freshman year with a 13-3 mark, including going 2-0 at No. 2, 1-2 at No. 3, 7-1 at No. 4 and 3-0 at No. 5 singles. Nicolae finished Southland play with a 9-2 record and won four-straight matches in both singles and doubles to end the year. She had a season-high eight-match winning streak after a season-opening loss while playing No. 48-ranked Rice. Nicolae finished 8-3 in doubles matches, with most action coming alongside Mia Matuszak as the team completed a 7-2 record together.
Read what Nicolae had to say to GoIslanders.com
Q: What was it like growing up in Romania?
A: It's a very different area, we don't have the same things, like the common things in America and I grew up with family and friends in a small town. It's more familiar because you're surrounded with people that you know. Everyone knows everyone in a small town.
Q: Did you always have it planned to play tennis in the U.S.?
A: No, my mom was the one that pushed me and said it would be the best choice. Since I was16 she encouraged me to practice and to be able to play at a good school.
Q: What made you interested in tennis?
A: My mom she had friends that were playing tennis and she had the idea to channel my energy to tennis and she took me to tennis and I loved it.
Q: What made you choose Texas A&M - Corpus Christi?
A: It was a last minute offer and I saw Jason Holland and he sent me a email about the results and everything. He said it was next to a beach and I don't want to be in cold weather plus I like that its sunny here.
Q: Who is your doubles partner?
A: I'm starting to play with Marina Cicak, but we haven't played yet. My most recent partner is Mia Matuszak.
Q: What's the most important thing you need to learn about your partner, before the match?
A: You need to trust each other and know she has my back at all times.
Q: Who would you say has the craziest personality on the team?
A: Our coach, Megan Harless.
Q: What do u like to do at the beach?
A: The beaches here aren't like the ones back home. You can't just go anywhere and tan. The people here are like animals and drive all over the beach. If I find a good spot I like to tan.
Q: Are there any big food changes here compared to Romania?
A: Yes, my mom cooked for me everyday and I don't know how to cook all that stuff, so I try to cook as much as I can. Here there are a lot of varieties in fast food.
Q: What would you like to pursue in Business Management?
A: I would like to be a manager and start a kindergarten and it become a family business.
Q: Last week the team played Rice, how was that?
A: It was difficult but I think we learned our lesson and I think we have a lot of time to improve and that we learn something from each match.
Q: What is your favorite type of music?
A: I don't really have a favorite type. I like normal songs like rock songs or relaxing music but not club music.
Q: Do have any pre-game superstitions?
A: I like my rackets to be the same color as my clothes or if I have a shirt and decide to wear a jacket it has to be the same color. I have to be matching.
Q: Other than tennis what other hobbies do you have?
A: I like volleyball, reading, and movies.
Q: What's your favorite movie?
A: Walk To Remember, Titanic and The Da Vinci Code.
Q: What is something most people don't know about you?
A: I'm a big movie person. I review and rate movies.
Q: D you have any pets at home?
A: No, I'm not an animal fan.
Q: What role do you play on the team?
A: All the girls on my team know that when they have questions about other teams scores that they can come to me and I know every score.