Regardless of hometown or nationality, the North Carolina women’s tennis team has a strong sense of pride in its school, coach Brian Kalbas said after his team’s sweep of Winthrop and East Carolina this weekend.
In his 10 years of coaching at UNC, not one player has transferred out of the program.
“I think that’s a tribute and a credit to our program that players like the school,” Kalbas said. “They like the tennis program; they’re having a good time and getting better.”
The team is currently one of two UNC varsity programs without any North Carolina residents. The nine players represent six different states and two different countries.
Despite the wide range of hometowns represented, Kalbas said school and state pride has not been a concern.
“The athletic tradition here is so strong that when players come to North Carolina from the states, they know that they need to uphold that tradition,” Kalbas said. “There’s a pride factor.”
The furthest traveled player is junior Laura Slater from Frimley, England.
Slater was recruited after Kalbas saw her play at a tournament in Philadelphia.
Slater said with the help of some of her supporters, she has become an integral part of the team.