Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Husker Seniors Reflect on NU Career

By NU Athletic Communications

Marina Cozac, Elizabeth Gould and Vasanti Shinde were NU’s three seniors on the team this year. Cozac, native of Chicago, Ill., spent two years at Nebraska after transferring over from DePaul after her sophomore year. Gould and Shinde both came in during the fall of 2015. Gould is originally from Atlanta, Ga., while Shinde resides in Pune, India.


These three leave NU with a combined total of 81 singles wins and 102 doubles wins. Recently, they took the time to reflect on their time at Nebraska and talk about what’s next.


Q: How did you originally decide on coming to Nebraska?


Marina Cozac: I left DePaul after my sophomore year and was looking for a new place to play. I went on a visit to Nebraska and I fell in love with the facilities, the coaches and the people. I also saw the camaraderie and togetherness of the team and I knew this was the place I wanted to be.


Elizabeth Gould: I actually reached out to Coach Jacobson. I decided to come on a visit, it was my last visit and I wanted to see what Nebraska was like. I ended up loving it, and everything just kind of fell into place.


Vasanti Shinde: I decided in March, before my first fall at NU, that I was going to do college tennis. Being from out of the country, I had coaches reach out by Facebook message. One of those messages I had was from Nebraska. I had a friend on the team and she told the coaches about me. I talked to Coach Jacobson on Skype and I eventually decided to commit. I had never visited before, but when I got here I felt like I hit the jackpot, it was so nice.


Q: What were some of the biggest adjustments for you when you first got to campus?


Marina Cozac: Being away from home was tough. When I was at DePaul I lived with my family and I was obviously really close with them. It was tough when I saw them drive away from Nebraska after moving me in. But my teammates really helped to ease the transition for me and it was helpful to have my new family here.


Elizabeth Gould: The hardest part for me was coming in as a walk-on. I just knew I’d have to really work hard and put the extra time in so I could give myself the best chance for playing time. I eventually found my role on the team and embraced it.


Vasanti Shinde: For me, it was on the education side. The classes and course load were a lot different than it was in India and it was tough to adjust. But I loved the freedom of college, I loved my new friends and I knew it would all be worth it.


Q: What were your favorite on-court moments as Huskers?


Marina Cozac: My two favorite matches were against Ohio State and Purdue, both at home. Against Purdue, I was up big in the third set and almost let my lead slip, but I came through to take the win. I loved beating Minnesota’s Cami Frey this year. She beat me really bad a year-and-a-half ago, so it was a good feeling to come back and beat her.  


Elizabeth Gould: When we beat Minnesota at Big Ten’s last year. They had beaten us during the regular season but we came back and took the win at the conference tournament. My favorite individual win was in my first singles match against Creighton. I was the last one playing and I was beyond nervous. It went to a third-set tiebreaker and I went on to win. I also loved playing doubles with Mary [Hanna].


Vasanti Shinde: When we beat Illinois at home my sophomore year, when we beat Ohio State on the road last year, and when we beat Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament. Individually, I would say when I beat Illinois’ No. 1 player during our win against them, that was awesome for me.


Q: What will you miss most about playing tennis for the Huskers?


Marina Cozac: I’m going to miss being a part of the team. I really felt like I opened up this year to my teammates and I really appreciate them. I’m going to miss Coach Jacobson because he was never negative towards me because he always knew I was giving my best effort all the time. I have enough memories from my last two years here to cherish forever.


Elizabeth Gould: I’m probably going to miss the little things the most. Just knowing that I’m going to practice for two hours each afternoon and spending time with some of my best friends. I’ll miss getting to talk about our days and funny things that happened to us earlier in the day or at class. Then obviously the matches on the weekends, going to dinners with the team and being able to be around everyone all the time.


Vasanti Shinde: The biggest thing for me is being a part of the team. Tennis is such an individual game at times and you get lonely on the court, but it’s nice to have your teammates there to support you on the court. I’ll also miss going to dinners together and the road trips where we would get to spend a ton of time with each other.


Q: What’s next after graduation?


Marina Cozac: I will be moving to Tallahassee, Fla., to attend Florida State University to get my Ph.D. I’ll be getting my doctorate in marketing. I actually bought a house down there and will be living close to campus.


Elizabeth Gould: I’ll be moving back home to Atlanta after graduation. I really want to work in sports marketing, whether that’s for a professional team in the city or a sports and entertainment agency. I plan on traveling this summer as well, hopefully to Europe.


Vasanti Shinde: I’m going to head back home to India and play tennis for another year or two. I’m getting surgery so I’ll be out for six weeks, but then after that I’ll be back on the court. Then I will start my master’s program, potentially in business analytics, but I’m not 100% sure yet.


Q: Any advice for future Husker women’s tennis players?


Marina Cozac: I think if you prepare yourself and know that it’s going to be a lot of hard work. It’s not all going to be sunshine and rainbows. It takes a lot of time to do well in tennis and in school. But just to lean on your teammates and talk to one another because they’re going through the same things that you are.


Elizabeth Gould: Take advantage of every opportunity you get here. Enjoy every moment and don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Try new things, meet people on campus, befriend other student-athletes, just make sure to enjoy every minute of your time at Nebraska.


Vasanti Shinde: I agree. Lean on your teammates, build relationships with one another and make sure you make time for yourself outside the court as well. You will be putting in a ton of work into becoming the best tennis player you can be, but also make sure you become the best well-rounded person you can be as well.


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