SNHU graduate student and tennis standout Natalie Kallmunzerova (’22) earned her third NE-10 Player of the Week honor of the season. This was following the week of Oct 10 before being named NE-10 Player of the Year on Oct 21.
Coming from Prague, Czech Republic, Kallmunzerova and other international teammates are diversifying SNHU’s tennis roster. Now, she stands atop her competitors with a 16-0 record in a singles play with a trip to the The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Nationals in Rome, Georgia.
When asked about his player’s success, 16-year tennis coach Gregory Coache had nothing but high praise toward the undefeated Kallmunzerova. “She likes working hard. Every practice she takes very serious….If she’s not hitting well in practice, she asks for additional hitting. Sometimes we say we’re coming to an end, but she asks for a little bit more….There’s not a coach out there that wouldn’t love that,” said Coache.
Before coming to SNHU, Kallmunzerova first left the Czech Republic to study and play tennis at Florida Atlantic University. Coache was referred to her by Magdalena Hubickova (’23), a fellow SNHU tennis player from the Czech Republic. The two were teammates back home and haven’t missed a beat in their time apart.
It takes a win-or-go-home mentality to find the success Kallmunzerova has found. “If something goes wrong, [she’s] going to work hard to make it better. She doesn’t get discouraged, she gets more motivated,” said Coache. “I’ve had…five or six amazing girls that have come through our system that really dominated…and Natalie is right at the top.”
Joining the SNHU tennis program was a huge step in Kallmunzerova’s career. First, she left her home country for the opportunity to study and play at the same time. Then, she transferred to SNHU from Florida Atlantic University to prolong her academic and athletic careers.
“If it’s practice or a match…giving 100% maximum effort is the key if you want to succeed, no matter if it’s sport or professional life,” said Kallmunzerova.
She spoke on her time at the national tournament in Georgia, which took place the week of October 11. “It was a little bit different…I got used to being surrounded by my teammates, which gives me confidence,” said Kallmunzerova.
While she was individually winning her matches, she understands that a team is like a family.
To qualify for nationals, she had to earn her spot as the single NE-10 qualifying player at the regional tournament in New York, which was no easy task. “Four days full of tennis. We ended up playing four matches per day. So, after, I was exhausted….It was physically and mentally very tough,” said Kallmunzerova.
Accolades are coming in from all directions for the Czech tennis player. “It’s kind of like a satisfaction for your hard work,” said Kallmunzerova. “I don’t like talking about my past successes… I feel like the future is what’s important.”