Article by: Sandra Molina (Whittier Daily News)
WHITTIER, Calif. - Whittier College's new women's tennis head coach first began playing the sport as a 6-year-old in her native Romania.
"Tennis has been a part of me all my life," Silvana Stans said.
She was hired this month to take over the job of improving on the team's .500 finish last season.
Silvana, 33, who lives in South Pasadena and also coaches varsity tennis at Mayfield Senior School, said she likes what she has seen in practice.
"The players show a lot of potential," she said. "My plans are to get the team to the next level."
Prior to coming to Whittier College, Silvana served as an assistant for the men's and women's tennis teams at Caltech and also worked a variety of tennis camps in Marietta, Ga., and at the Brian Winter Tennis Academy at the Arroyo Seco Racquet Centre.
In March 2011 she received a professional tennis instructor certification from the United States Professional Tennis Registry, with a professional level specialization in adult development, and this year she became a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association.
She and men's head tennis coach David Bojalad will have a better sense about the upcoming season after their players participate in the USTA/ITA West Regional Tournament, Sunday through Tuesday.
"The tournament let's us see how we match up with the other talent," said Bojalad, who is also the director of tennis, and served as the women's team's head coach the past two seasons.
"Running two practices has not been too practical," he said.
Bojalad is enthusiastic about the addition of Stans.
"Silvana has a fabulous resume, and has a rich tennis background," he said.
In Romania, Stans played on the Women's Tennis Association Tour at the age of 16, playing tournaments in France, Switzerland, Serbia, Hungary, Portugal, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Germany before to moving to the United States when she was 18.
"I moved here to play in the WTA, but I got injured," she said.
Stans then got married and had two children, who are now in competitive juniors.
From 2002-2006 she attended Cal State L.A., where she graduated with a degree in business administration with a minor in economics.
Between 2002 and 2005, Stans played for the Cal State L.A. tennis team on a full scholarship, and she also helped coach.
She received the Billie Jean King Endowed Tennis Scholarship, and the Joe Shapiro Tennis Scholarship all three years.
During Stans' first season she was Cal State L.A.'s No. 1 player, and during her second season she came back after a surgery to play at No. 3 singles.
As for the upcoming spring season, Stans is hopeful of having a successful one.
"Overall, the girls can improve on all levels - mental strength, conditioning and tennis skills - which they are all capable of," she said. "Most importantly, I hope to be their mentor and inspire them to reach greater levels."