Why SU tennis players aren’t allowed to be roommates

first_imgWhen Miranda Ramirez arrived on campus in January of 2017, she needed a roommate. But she faced a problem: Syracuse head coach Younes Limam doesn’t allow his players to live together.After spending countless hours on the road, in practice, at meals and in matches together, Limam doesn’t want his team to have to see each other at home, too. While many teams end up sharing apartments, Limam wants Syracuse players to meet people outside their team. The risks to team chemistry and friendships outweigh the benefits, he said.“A lot of them are surprised at first,” Limam said. “But they really appreciate the fact that they get to experience and explore different things.”For Ramirez, this meant a roommate in a different sport: softball outfielder Bryce Holmgren. Ramirez and Holmgren don’t see each other often, but Ramirez raved about living with someone outside tennis, even if she goes long stretches of time without seeing Holmgren.Last year, Ramirez said she and Holmgren barely knew each other. But because the two had no issues as they were in season, they decided to live together this year. They used the offseason, fall of 2017, to become closer friends. They’ll live together again next year, Ramirez said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“She’s absolutely amazing,” Ramirez said of Holmgren. “It’s crazy, we live together but I don’t see her ever. I’m lucky if I see her for an hour on Mondays.”Ramirez said the two frequently text during the season, sending messages of encouragement. While in-season, Ramirez said she has gone up to a month without seeing Holmgren.While Ramirez made a great friend in the roommate process, other players have not been as lucky. After next year, current junior Libi Mesh will have lived with four different roommates in four years. She said that she is friendly will all three of her previous and current roommates, but busy schedules make it hard to maintain close friendships outside the team.Syracuse tennis sometimes has two practices a day, plus weekend matches and travel. Add in class, homework and make-up work and the players don’t spend much time in their apartments.Mesh agreed with Ramirez that having non-tennis roommates has helped her meet other SU students. Only one of Mesh’s three roommates was an athlete.“We’ve been talking, but we live different lives,” Mesh said of her current roommate. “We’re not best friends, but we’re on good terms.”For Gabriela Knutson, next year will also bring her fourth roommate in four years. She’ll be living on South Campus again next year, like most athletes. Her search for a living partner prompted her to post on Facebook in groups with Syracuse students, asking if anyone was looking for a roommate.Graduate student Anna Shkudun lives with Maggie Toczko, a member of the cross-country team. Shkudun said that she and her roommate are friendly, but when asked, she couldn’t remember Toczko’s last name.Even if she’s not close with her current roommate, Shkudun said she agrees with Limam that having some time away from the team is beneficial for the team chemistry.“On the court, at dinner, in class, it can get rough, especially with girls,” Shkudun said.Players need some alone time in their own rooms, Limam said.And they don’t have to live together to be best friends. Dina Hegab and Knutson as well as Mesh and Shkudun have both called each other best friends on multiple occasions. Even if they don’t live under the same roof, SU tennis is a tight-knit group.“The chemistry has been really good for the last couple years,” Limam said. “Why change something that is working?” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 23, 2018 at 8:10 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected]last_img

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