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ND Women’s Tennis: Ciobanu impresses on and off court

John Helms | Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Senior Cosmina Ciobanu has had an unbelievable career at Notre Dame while showcasing an unbelievable work ethic. She’s been pretty good at tennis, too.
Ciobanu was awarded the Big East Scholar Athlete award this weekend, an honor going to a male and female athlete from each Big East school. The award, given only to those with “outstanding academic achievement and exceptional athletic performance” comes with a $2,000 scholarship towards graduate studies.
Ciobanu’s achievements in the classroom are certainly outstanding. A double major in anthropology and science pre-professional studies, she’s managed to post a 3.86 career grade-point average. In addition, Ciobanu is a member of the Notre Dame’s Academic Honors Program and has been named an ITA Scholar Athlete and Big East Academic All-Star for the past three years.
“When it comes down to it, the one thing that really got me through rough patches and helped me be successful has been the support I’ve gotten from my friends, my teammates, my coaches, and my advisors,” Ciobanu said. “It has been comforting to have teammates and friends who have been there for me to support and encourage me when things got hectic.”
Ciobanu specifically pointed to her coaches as amazing sources of encouragement and enablers to help her achieve her academic goals.
“I am so blessed to have played for such amazing coaches, who are not only great coaches but also great people,” she said. “Both [Irish coach] Jay [Louderback] and [assistant coach] Julia [Scaringe] have always been incredibly understanding when I needed to miss practice to make up a lab, to study for a final, or to go on med school interviews. It’s truly refreshing to play for a school that cares about your development as a whole person, and will always try to help you out in anyway they can.”
Ciobanu’s accomplishments on the tennis court are just as impressive. A three-year starter, she holds an overall record of 186-57 in matches. In her career, she has been ranked as high No. 31 in singles and No. 39 in doubles. Last year, she helped the Irish to their first ever NCAA Semifinal appearance, the best performance in program history.
This year, Ciobanu is trying to slow everything down and truly appreciate her last season.
 “It’s nice to know that the late nights of studying and the tiring practices and workouts have paid off, and it’s even nicer to be able to look back on it and realize that it was all worth it,” Ciobanu said. “But also bittersweet. Knowing how fast in-season goes by, I’ve just been trying to appreciate every single moment — all the great times, the laughs, the hard-fought matches, the ups and downs — really, just all of it.
“For me, being a leader so far this year has been more about having no regrets — holding on tight to each other and taking advantage of every opportunity we have this semester. I feel really blessed to be able to appreciate something so incredible as it’s happening, and to know that every moment spent with my teammates of these last few months I have left at Notre Dame is incredibly precious.”