News

Sasha’s Battle

The OU Women’s Tennis team defeated Illinois over the weekend, but one team player is fighting an even tougher battle as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to wreak havoc on her home country.

“I was kind of reminding myself that I was playing for my country”

Sasha Pisareva, a senior at the University of Oklahoma and a star player on the women’s tennis team is from Ukraine, where her family lives throughout is spread far and wide across the country.

“My family is kind of spread out because of the war back in 2014 so I’m kind of experiencing the war for the second time which is not good at all.”

However, she remains hopeful.

“It’s pretty sad, but we’re strong and we’re gonna be even stronger”

Pisareva expresses her strength through her dearest passion.

“Tennis is like a passion for me, something else where I can not focus on the war and what’s going on in my country and just play and enjoy myself.”

Though the sport can be difficult with what’s happening back home, Pisareva says coach Audra Cohen has been a shoulder to lean on.

“Audra is really good coach, she’s very caring, whenever I have to talk to someone she’s always the person I can talk to and rely on.”

“I think the biggest thing is she just knows she has all these people around her that care about her and her family”

Coach Cohen says even rule adjustments have been made to ensure Pisareva knows she’s supported.

“One of the small things we’ve done is allow her to use her cellphone at practices. We’re willing to sacrifice some of our like team rules and team things like that so that we can show support for her family because at anytime you don’t know what’s going to happen in Ukraine right now.”

Pisareva continues to share what’s going on in Ukraine on her social media to bring awareness and encourages anyone looking to help Ukrainians to donate money to the National Bank of Ukraine’s special account for Ukraine’s armed forces. 

Zaria Oates, OU Nightly.

Categories: News

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