PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast women's tennis player Margarita Lopareva has signed to continue her collegiate career at NCAA Division II Chowan.
"I really like the coach and the program," the sophomore from Moscow, Russia, said. "Also, I like that the whole team is international so I will find some friends from different parts of the world."
Lopareva won her second MACJC/Region 23 championship last month. She won the No. 1 singles title this year, moving up from her No. 2 singles crown last year.
"She's probably one of the most tenacious players we've ever had," Gulf Coast coach Gary Bourgeois said. "Last year she evolved from a one-dimensional player to a multi-dimensional player, and she evolved off the court. Her personality changed. She became more outspoken. On the court, she displayed a different personality."
Chowan, located in Murfreesboro, N.C., plays in Conference Carolinas.
"I learned how to adjust to a new culture, and I learned English. I learned a Southern accent," Lopareva said laughing about her time at Perkinston. "Thanks to Coach and to the school. They gave me all the conditions to do this. The courts, everything. I've never had to ask for anything. I had everything to succeed."
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