Sabina-Elena Reaching New Heights

One quick search for Sabina-Elena Preda on the internet and you quickly realize that you’re not searching a run-of-the-mill tennis player. At just 19 years of age, Preda has found ranking on the Women’s Tennis Association Tour, was named Big Sky Player of the Week and graduated from Pamfil Seicaru in her native Romania in 2013.

Not too shabby of a start to her career.

Tennis, it seems, has been in Preda’s blood from the time she was born. In her native Romania, Preda’s career took off early. A member of the Tennis Club 2000 in Bucharest, Romania, Preda found instant success. She was a member of a national championship team with Tennis Club 2000 in 2008 at the age of 16, and was a vice champion with the club in 2011.

Despite all of her early success in Romania, Preda knows her main mission in life is to make it on the Pro Tour and in 2011 she reached her highest ranking to that point (1092), solidifying herself as a player to watch out for on the WTA scene.

Coming off her early success, Preda has proven herself to be much more than just a successful tennis player. A mathematics major at Portland State, Preda has shown she can handle not only her athletic career, but also her academics. If math and tennis were not enough, she also double majors in actuarial science—proving athletes can be just as successful in the classroom as outside of it.

Preda is joining the squad at a very exciting time for the program. After setting records last season for wins (12) and single season wins

(Megan Govi, 17), and having four players record more than 10 wins, a player of Preda’s talent can only help coach John Sterling and the Vikings reach unprecedented heights.

That isn’t to say there hasn’t been a bit of a learning curve. Preda struggled during last week’s tournament in Nebraska, but the team around her, strongest in years, more than picked up the slack.

Coach Sterling told that his team is built on players who are there for each other.

“This is the team I expect to see,” he said. “We came into this weekend wanting to get our season back on track and this was a good win to start it for us. We just have to play at this level every match.”

Having a fully-loaded staff with a freshman phenomenon is certainly a good way to achieve that. And it appears that Preda is only getting stronger as the season goes on.

She won Big Sky Player of the Week on Feb. 25. Not bad for a freshman.

Wherever her future takes her—a successful WTA Tour run or a career in math — Preda seems to have all the tools to be successful, on the court and off.