April 3, 2014
Boca Raton, Fla. -
Florida Atlantic University women’s tennis player Natalia Tomaszewicz is determined to stay positive both on and off the court despite obstacles.
Tomaszewicz, a junior criminal justice major, has overcome personal injury and family illness within the past year. She injured her wrist early in 2014 and was forced to sit out four weeks. Simultaneously, she has served as a support system for her family and mother, Barbara, who is recovering from a 2013 surgery.
“Last year, my mom had surgery to remove a tumor from her inner ear,” said Tomaszewicz. “My family and I were very scared, but were relieved when everything with the surgery went well. It has been hard to put aside the worry and to keep it from affecting my court performance.”
Barbara’s recovery is an ongoing process, but Tomaszewicz said her mother continues to make improvements in both hearing and facial muscle function.
“The recovery process wasn’t easy,” Tomaszewicz said. “I helped my mom out a lot and still continue doing as much as I can.”
Despite this added responsibility and stress, Tomaszewicz has posted an 8-1 singles record and a 3-2 doubles record.
”Coach (Marcy Hora-Cava) has focused on doubles more this season, and we have made a lot of improvement,” said Tomaszewicz. “With the conference tournament coming up at the end of May, I want to stay positive, keep my momentum going, and finish strong.”
Tomaszewicz, born in Poland and raised in Coral Springs, FL, has been playing tennis since she was six years old. Her father Leopold, who was a professional track and field runner in Poland, has served as her coach from the beginning. She played four seasons at Coral Glades High School and chose to come to FAU to be close to her family and because she liked the team atmosphere established by Head Coach Marcy Hora-Cava.
”Playing for FAU has been a lot different than playing at the high school level,” Tomaszewicz said. “Our team is like a family. They bring out the best in me and I want to do well not only for myself but for the team as well.”
One of Tomaszewicz’s favorite moments at FAU was winning 4-0 in the first round of the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Championship (FAU’s former conference) against higher-ranked Arkansas State. Her biggest challenge has been making the transition from high school to college, both athletically and academically.
”College tennis is taken much more seriously and the competition is at a much higher level,” said Tomaszewicz. “Being a student-athlete isn’t easy. Balancing school with tennis is a challenge, and you have to be able to manage your time and try to play well while keeping your grades up.”
Tomaszewicz has learned to manage her time between what she loves, playing tennis and her education. She holds above a 3.5 G.P.A. and would like to pursue law school once she graduates from FAU.
Tomaszewicz also has found time to become a United States Citizen, last February. She now has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Poland, along with her mother Barbara and sister Patrycia. Her father is a permanent resident in the U.S.
This summer she plans to take a trip to Poland with her parents and sister to visit extended family.
FAU women’s tennis will face Jacksonville State and Florida A&M this weekend in Tallahassee. The next home match will take place on April 9 against FIU. To view the full schedule, please visit FAUsports.com.