By Emily Franzenburg
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Tenisz, tenis, or tennis – take your pick because Kansas tennis player Edina Horvath can play them all.
The senior from Budapest, Hungary, speaks three languages – Hungarian, German and English. The fact that English isn’t her first or even second language makes her move to the United States all the more impressive.
Horvath admitted that the language barrier caused some problems early in her time at Kansas.
“It was really hard because I didn’t speak very good English,” said Horvath, who plays at the No. 1 singles and doubles positions for KU. “It’s actually my third language after Hungarian and German. So I hadn’t really studied English before I got here and it made it hard to make friends.”
Although Horvath had little to no time to prepare for her big move, she wasted no time becoming familiar with her new surroundings.
“I didn’t have time to visit before I came here,” said Horvath. “I just started talking to Coach Hall-Holt in the summer and then I got here in the beginning of September. So I was really scared to come to a different country because I had only been away from home for a week or two at a time when I would travel for tournaments. I can remember my teammates and Coach Hall-Holt being really helpful. It made it a lot easier to adjust.”
Also aiding in that adjustment was Horvath’s comfort on the tennis court. Horvath began playing tennis when she was four years old. Her father coached her until she was 10-years-old, then she moved on to a private coach and practicing with other kids at clubs.
Once the time came for college, Horvath knew what she wanted to do. Even if she didn’t know the exact details just yet.
“I knew that I wanted to come to the United States to a university,” said Horvath, a finance and international business major. “One of my friends is a tennis player at DePaul University. I told her that I was planning to visit some universities and she told me that she’d heard that Kansas offered a lot of opportunities. Her coach was best friends with the assistant coach that was here (at KU) my freshman year. So I contacted Coach Hall and she ended up offering me a scholarship.”
With the decision made, Horvath packed up to relocate to Lawrence, Kan., for at least the next four years. Despite missing her family back in Hungary, she now plans to stay in the States for awhile after her graduation next December.
“I miss my family the most,” said Horvath, who has an older sister who already has a finance degree and also played tennis. ”But I go home twice a year – for a couple weeks in the summer and then at Christmas-time. Hopefully they (her family) are coming for my graduation, too.”
For now, though, Horvath’s family is here with the Kansas team.
“Every day something funny happens with this team,” said Horvath, last season’s team sportsmanship award recipient. “I really like traveling and spending time with my team because every time we’re together it’s so much fun.”