Ukrainian ODU tennis players watch, worry and wait from afar

Norfolk, Virginia (Wavy) – Imagine you are a college student 5,000 miles from your family while your home country is under attack.

This is the case with the two tennis players at the Old Dominion.

Eugene Sirus sums up the seriousness of the situation: “My city, my hometown has been bombed so hard for the last two days.”

Sirus together with Yulia Starodubtseva from Ukraine. They are trying to balance their educational and sporting responsibilities while their home country is at war with Russia.

“We are on winter vacation in Ukraine, we were both at home,” said Starodubtseva. “It was quiet, it didn’t seem like anything was going to happen. Just crazy to think it actually happened. Nobody expected that. “

Although tennis can be a holiday, there are still thoughts about what is happening in their home country.

“I immediately reached out,” said men’s tennis coach Dominique Mueller. “How are you? How are your family? That was my number one concern.”

“Two weeks ago, Julia took first place in the country in the doubles – she is still in the top five,” said women’s tennis coach Dominique Manila. “Everything she has done this year has been very impressive, add it to that and she kept going and didn’t miss a single hit. This shows what kind of people they are and what kind of people Ukraine creates.

Support from the university continued on Wednesday night when Kaufman shopping center had candles, where Starodubtseva addressed the crowd and urged people to disseminate information.

“Let in your social networks and be strong for the Ukrainian people and please do everything in your power, because now every little thing is important,” she said.

Both Starodubtsev and Sirus hope for the best for their country and hope for a solution.

“We see our soldiers fighting so bravely, we fight back and win. We just hope it will end in a couple of days, ”Sirus said.

Starodubtseva added: “As the world has stood up for us, it is very significant.”

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