Adrijana Pavlovic celebrating a doubles win with her partner Vanja Radunovic on Senior Day.
April 22, 2011
Adrijana Pavlovic has gone through two big transitions over the past couple years. First came the move from her native Germany to the United States, where she attended college and played tennis for the Cowley County Community College team. Then a few months ago came a second move, this time to Seattle and the University of Washington, where as she points out, the D-I level in the Pac-10 is an entirely different ballgame. Pavlovic has been working hard to help a thin Husky roster hurt by injuries this season, and she herself missed several weeks due to a foot injury. Back playing and practicing now, Pavlovic and the Huskies are looking to bring their best for the upcoming NCAA Championships.
GoHuskies.com: When did you first come to the United States?
Adrijana Pavlovic: In January of 2009 from Germany
GH: Why did you move to the states?
AP: I got the offer to play tennis for the scholarship and I wanted to play, also because of the education here. I came alone. I'm always going back to visit my family in Germany--I went during Christmas break and last summer, but they have never been here.
GH: How long have you been playing tennis?
AP: I've been playing since I was six years old.
GH: Tell me about the process of being recruited by Cowley County Community College and your experience being there.
AP: Recruiting was basically went really fast because I didn't have the opportunity to travel to Kansas before making my decision to see how it looked and to take a look at the tennis program there. The process went fast; before I decided to come to the United States I didn't have time to choose any schools, I had two opportunities in Florida and Kansas. I just decided Kansas for myself and everything went so fast. I just went there. I liked it at the beginning but compared to Seattle and the tennis program here they're just at a different level; you can't compare the two.
GH: How did you come in contact with the UW coaches?
AP: When I was about to transfer from junior college I was sending a lot of emails. I sent emails to Oregon and a lot of other schools and I was just waiting for an answer. My coach from Cowley helped me a lot too, but not too many coaches answered. Jill was one of the coaches that did.
GH: Did you come out and visit Washington before deciding to play here?
AP: No, I didn't. We just talked. I talked to Washington and Memphis and also went to visit two other schools but I didn't come to Seattle to visit here because we just didn't have time. I decided to come to Washington because it is a better tennis program and the school is better academically.
GH: How has the academic portion of your experience been here?
AP: It's harder, but I can do it.
GH: What's your major?
AP: Business. I'm going to apply to the business school in October of next year.
GH: Has it been hard for you to balance the team's road schedule this year with school?
AP: Yes, it was a little hard to balance in the beginning but some of my teammates helped me to study on the road and I learned to adjust.
GH: What has the biggest challenge been for you coming from community college to the DI level?
AP: The tennis program. At the JC I was playing number one, and here I'm playing at number six. The level is just incomparable. It's also not just a Division I school, it's the Pac-10--the best of the best. People are more experienced here. They've played since they're six years old. Most of the players at junior college basically just played in high school and continued just for fun.
GH: How was the transition to living in Seattle?
AP: I can remember my first month I had to sleep on the couch at Venise's apartment because there was no room in any of the dorms and I didn't have time to look for an apartment. Basically, I slept on their couch for almost two months and they helped me a lot. Venise was the first person that I met when I came here. Andjela (Nemcevic) and Smiley (Aleksandra Krsljanin) were also very friendly and I've liked them since the beginning.
GH: So you get along well with your teammates and coaching staff?
AP: Yes, I like them all. The coaches are good and have helped me by trying to bring me to the same level as the other players. Right now I'm a little bit below them because I wasn't practicing for a while. My last season at JC I wasn't allowed to play because of NCAA stipulations. Before I'd come here I hadn't played real tennis at this level for a long time. Right now they're trying to bring me up to the other girls level by practicing hard and motivating me.
GH: What do you expect from yourself and the team going into the NCAA Championships?
AP: To win and for everyone to play well and do our best. The last couple weeks we've had a couple injuries on our team and right now we're in the process of healing and our team is getting together again so just giving our best is important.
GH: Do you prefer playing doubles or singles?
AP: Here, doubles. I like it. I've gotten better at doubles since I've come here. The coaches teach me a lot of good tactics and I've just had more fun with a partner. I've had some good doubles matches. I've improved a lot.
GH: Do you feel you've improved in singles too?
AP: Yes, I've improved a lot. It was just hard at first because I hadn't practiced in a while.
GH: What are your feelings on next year's season?
AP: Improving. I want to get better and better. Maybe I'll be able to go up in the line up to number four or five. I hope to win a lot of matches.