Influential Paladin: Katarina Kozarov

Written by Lane Fahey, Editor-in-Chief

While tennis may be an individual sport, the Paladin women’s tennis team focuses on pushing each other to be their best selves, as teammates and as people. Senior Katarina Kozarov is a great example of this.

“[My coaches and teammates] push me every day to be the best I can be on and off the court, taught me how to own my game style, and most important [taught me to] have the confidence to believe in myself and my game which got me to where I am right now,” Kozarov said. 

This semester, Kozarov defeated UCF Knight No.29 Valeriya Zeleva in the semi-final match at the ITA All-American Championships. Kozarov’s performance in this tournament allows her to head to California to compete in the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships on Nov. 6-10, which will feature the 64 best players in the country. 

“By playing such high level tournaments and gaining this kind of experience, it definitely helps me prepare mentally and physically for our team matches in the spring and I can’t wait to see what the spring season has in store for us,” Kozarov said. 

With limited tournaments in the fall, Kozarov is using this time to develop relationships within the team and to not focus on just the match results in order to be prepared for the spring. 

“If we become only results oriented, we lose sight of the process and everyday hard work we put in, which takes away the joy of the journey to get where we want to go…So, I’d say my main goal for the season is to become the best person and player I can be by putting in the work on and off the court every day, to connect and enjoy the time with my teammates, and make some everlasting memories with this special group this year, because there is no feeling that can compare to the one you get on court, when you don’t play for yourself but for your family.”

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