April 4, 2011
By Caryn Savitz, FSU Sports Information Intern
As a freshman, adjusting to college life can be quite difficult. Being a freshman in a new country is even more difficult as you are not only adjusting to college life, but to a whole new culture as well. Freshmen Manon Veldman and Ruth Seaborne are doing not only that, but also spending the majority of their time as active members of the Florida State women’s tennis team.
Veldman a native from The Netherlands, and Seaborne from England, both came from “across the pond” to be at Florida State. The two represent the youngest members of FSU’s team. While they have only been on campus for only a short period of time, both women already refer to the team as their family, and are adjusting quite well to an American college lifestyle.
Seaborne admits she was nervous at first, but credits the adjustment to being a smooth one by everything Florida State offers their student athletes.
“Having all this work loaded on me kind of freaked me out at first, but it’s getting a lot better,” said Seaborne. “The resources that the athletes have here are just amazing.”
One of the biggest transitions from playing in Europe to playing here in America is going from individual play to traveling with and being part of the same team year round. This is a transition that came almost effortlessly for Veldman who says the best advice she’s been given so far is,
“To play not just for yourself, but you have got to play for your team and to remember that winning for the team is always better than winning just for yourself.”
While the transition seems easy, being the youngest members of the team can also be difficult, but these freshmen are lucky enough to have great leadership from a few of the older players whom they look up to. Seaborne admires her doubles partner, Francesca Segarelli for her `never give up’ attitude.
“Often my mind will just wander, but Fran will always be like, `Ruth look at me, we’re going to do this together.’ It settles me down,” Seaborne says about her partner.
Veldman and Seaborne both agree that Federica Suess is another great role model for the younger girls on the team.
“She’s a great leader and sets a great example,” said Veldman. “Every time she steps on the court she’s a warrior. She always puts up a fight and she almost always wins.”
There is a real sense of family amongst the women on the team, which in turn makes it much easier for a freshman to feel comfortable. Both Seaborne and Veldman have worked very hard to get to where they are at today. Taking great pride in wearing the garnet and gold, these freshmen have been a great addition to the women’s tennis team.
“For the past two years I’ve been trying to get into Florida State, so for me to actually be here it’s just a really good experience.” Seaborne says on what it means to be a Seminole.
Off the court Seaborne and Veldman also love spending time with their team and claim their favorite memories so far have been the road trips and the time spent traveling with the team. Not only are both these freshmen getting to spend countless hours with their friends, but they are getting an opportunity to travel to various cities all around the country. Spending her birthday in Orlando and getting the chance to visit Islands of Adventure Theme Park has been Seaborne’s favorite memory so far.
Although their careers as Seminoles are just beginning, both of these girls have big goals for the next few years. One of Veldman’s goals for while she’s at Florida State is, “To improve my game and just be the best that I can be for my team.” Seaborne also aspires to be ranked during her career.
Overall Ruth Seaborne and Manon Veldman have had a huge adjustment coming from Europe to play tennis in America, but both are fitting in just fine and continually display the Seminole tradition of excellency. Undoubtedly, Seaborne and Veldman are both making the most of their first year in Tallahassee, and look forward to many more victories and memories to come.