The upcoming season will mark new beginnings for the Cowgirl tennis program as head coach Chris Young‘s squad will add 4 recent faces to the combination, which incorporates three returners.
Amongst these newcomers is Finland native Oona Orpana, who determined to carry her abilities to Stillwater courtesy of the persistence in recruiting from assistant coach Jaime Sanchez-Canamares.
“I at all times stated school wasn’t for me,” Orpana stated. “Jaime was the one individual to vary my thoughts. It was by no means my plan to attend school in America, however it’s an amazing alternative and I do know I might remorse it sooner or later if I did not come right here.”
Orpana acquired a number of messages from school coaches however by no means responded to them. Alternatively, Sanchez-Canamares persistently inspired Orpana and talked to her about life at Oklahoma State.
“After the issues he advised me on the cellphone about OSU was after I advised my mother and father I need to go to school,” Orpana stated. “He advised me about how he is seen my play for a few years in juniors and believes in me.”
A local of Spain, Sanchez-Cañamares was a four-time NAIA All-American, competing at Fresno Pacific, Oklahoma Christian, and Embry-Riddle.
The Cowgirls have the right storm with the teaching employees having the worldwide expertise of Sanchez-Canamares and Oklahoma native Chris Young.
“I feel Jaime can relate to what it is like to come back to the US, examine a unique language and modify to life right here as a result of he is finished it himself,” Orpana stated. “It is good to have a coach from America and one from Europe as a result of they may give completely different views on the sport and life.”
Orpana grew up in a small metropolis in Finland earlier than shifting to Helsinki, the capital. Oona started enjoying tennis when she was 5 after seeing her older cousin play. Orpana’s resume speaks for itself.
“At age eight and 9, I used to be the highest of my class,” Orpana stated. “After I was 10, I used to be profitable nationwide championships for 12 and below. After I was 13, I reached the ultimate of the ladies’s nationwide championship. That was a breaking level; I did not count on that. I have been touring and enjoying tournaments overseas since I used to be 11.”
Though she skilled nice success at such a younger age, Orpana in the end bumped into setbacks. On the age of 14, she had main knee surgical procedure. Then, the next 12 months she needed to have two extra surgical procedures on the identical knee. Then at 17, Orpana had elbow surgical procedure that saved her out for six months and determined to play professional-only tournaments.
“When you’ve got the motivation and one thing you need to accomplish, you will discover a option to come again from no matter it’s. It’s a must to have one thing you are working for. I’m very obsessed with tennis. I used to be capable of keep constructive and do the issues I may do like health.”
Oona used her ardour for the sport to come back again stronger, and in November 2019, she was awarded “Feminine Tennis Participant of the Yr” in Finland.
Up to now, so good for Orpana in Stillwater. She’s having fun with the simpleness and compactness of campus. Tennis-wise, Orpana is taking it daily, making an attempt to settle right into a routine, enhance her recreation and get to know her new teammates.
“I need to enhance and work laborious every day,” Orpana stated. “I do not need to look too far sooner or later. I need to work every single day to provide myself an opportunity. I have been spending loads of time with the ladies attending to know them. I’m making an attempt to get my routine down between courses and observe.”
Taking part in her total life individually, Oona is having fun with being part of a crew.
“I just like the crew side of it,” Orpana stated. “Health is an effective instance. It is six o’clock within the morning however being with the crew is enjoyable. The constructive vitality they’ve is good. I feel it is good to have Individuals on the crew as a result of they know concerning the college system and can assist us. And having individuals, not from America is good to narrate to them. We Europeans have issues in widespread. I can find out about new cultures.”
Orpana is majoring on the whole enterprise and is on the lookout for one thing extra particular to finally pursue.
She’s going to start her fall season subsequent week on the Fort Value $25,000 Professional Circuit occasion. Sustain with Orpana and the Cowgirls by way of Cowgirl Tennis social media platforms and okstate.com.