Moving over 5,000 miles away from home can be a challenging adjustment for any college athlete, and playing your sport in a foreign country wouldn’t make it any easier.
From Bucharest, Romania, freshman Robert Rizea picked up a tennis racket at a very young age.
“When I was 8 years old, my mother saw something about tennis in the newspaper, and thought I should try it for something fun to do. It became a serious passion by the time I was 12 or 13,” Rizea said.
Rizea is having no issues using the skills he learned in Bucharest and assimilating to the fast pace of Mercyhurst men’s tennis.
“Since we didn’t have high school tennis in Romania, I played for a club. The difference from there to here isn’t too much. I quickly got used to the fast courts, I enjoy them,” Rizea said.
Coming off of a great debut performance against Bloomsburg on Saturday, Sept. 15, Rizea is focusing on continuing one thing – winning matches.
“My goal for the season is to win every match,” said Rizea. “It feels different to win in another country, another continent; to win not only for you, but for the university. It’s a feeling that motivates me.”
Additionally, Rizea finds motivation in himself.
“I inspire myself, I have the motivation to always do the best that I can. I want to improve myself all the time, and am never fully satisfied. I want to play better each time I get on the court,” Rizea said.
The Lakers traveled to Westminister on Sept. 19 to take on the Westminister Titans, crushing them 8-1. The win puts the Lakers at a 1-2 record on the season. The team will host Davis & Elkins at home on Sept. 27.