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Sasha Parc - From Serbia to HPU

by Sophie Schmidt, associate Sports editor

HPU’s women Tennis team lost 6-0 March 4 against Brigham Young University at the Central Oahu Regional Tennis Park in Waipahu. Sasha Parc, the assistant coach, said that BYUH is strong, but HPU could have done better. “The team needs a lot of practice, but we will be able to play better against BYUH soon”.

Parc, who is originally from Serbia, trains with the team every day, and he knows that their goal, to go to the Nationals at Orlando, requires a lot of work. He is optimistic. “The team is very good and solid. We do not have a top number one and two. All our girls are good, and they are all able to play at different positions,” Parc said. There is also a great chemistry between the men’s and women’s team. Parc added: “They are willing to help and support each other.”

Still, the stress the team is exposed to is not to be ignored. Parc, who is in HPU’s MBA program said, that “School always comes first. We work around school and not around tennis.”

On March 10, HPU begins a road trip to California. The lady Sea Warriors usually take their exams prior to the trip, which means that in addition to their training, they also need to prepare in lessons and do presentations.

The coach added that their teachers are usually very helpful in dealing with the team’s intense schedule.

Parc became the assistant coach of the team in January 2004. Prior to that, he played four years in the Division I team at Charlotte University of North Carolina. He has also worked as a line umpire at various international tournaments, as well as at the US-Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open. He came to HPU to visit a friend in January 2003 and was here when last years coach resigned. Parc was asked to take over. He accepted and also looks forward to the education HPU provides him.

Parc grew up in Germany, and fluent in both languages. This is a big advantage for him. “I can tell the girls things (in a language) that the opponent does not understand.”

HPU team consists of four Slavic girls and three Polynesian. Two of them are locals, Loni Matsunaga and Shakti Stream. Except for Isidora Ljuri, who is a Freshmen from Yugoslavia, it is their second year playing together. Parc says that “Although they have national differences and come from different backgrounds, they still work very well as a team.”

Parc will go home for the summer this year to play a few matches in Germany and work at the US-Open in September. “I will be back in time for the new season of HPU’s women tennis and to complete my master program.” In 2005, when Parc has his degree, he wants to use his Optional Practical Training – a one year opportunity to work legally in the U.S. “Until then I want to enjoy being in Hawaii, coaching a great team and having sunshine nearly every day!”


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