By Sarah Grimmer
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Nazari Urbina’s decision to go to Texas A&M was easy. However, getting in proved to be a challenging process.
“There really is something about Aggieland that pulls you in,” Urbina said. “I liked the traditions, the facility and the coaches. I knew I wanted to come here.”
Urbina had to meet Texas A&M’s standard score on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam. She took the test several times, but came short of the score needed.
“She was great when you sat down and communicated with her. You could clearly understand her,” Head Coach Bobby Kleinecke said. “She just wasn’t taking the test well.”
Not passing the test only made Urbina more determined to gain acceptance into A&M. She went to San Diego University to study English and worked countless hours to ensure she would score high enough on the TOEFL. Her hard work and determination paid when she finally got to College Station this past summer.
Not wasting any time, Urbina has certainly made her presence known. Joining the Texas A&M women’s tennis team this past fall, the true freshman has only continued to raise the level of the game.
In her first season, Urbina has led the Aggies with a 30-5 overall singles record, including an undefeated 10-0 in conference matches. Her 30 win have her tied for sixth in the Texas A&M season record books. She also holds a 19-2 mark in doubles play.
“My coaches have really helped me a lot and have been great mentors for me,” Urbina said. “I want to be the best player I can be, making decisions at the right time and to be a nice, humble person.”
Her domination on the courts is the exact opposite of her personality off the courts.
“Naz is a very quiet, internal person,” Kleinecke said. “Her work ethic is incredible and she is always looking to do extra. She is very professional with her game and really absorbs everything in.”
Currently ranked No. 35 nationally by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association singles poll, Urbina has helped the Aggies to a No. 4 seed heading into the 2010 Big 12 Tennis Championships. She has won her last seven matches of the regular season, which included defeating 18th-ranked Nina Secerbegovia of Baylor, marking the highest ranked win by an A&M player this season.
“Naz is an all-around great player,” Kleinecke said. “She is very methodical, analytical and learns from every experience. I’m excited to see how much she will continue to grow throughout her college career. I have no doubts that she will be among the top players in the nation.”