Tennis

Freshman Miranda Ramirez thriving in singles play

Courtesy of SU Athletics

Freshman Miranda Ramirez thrived in third singles on Sunday, getting Syracuse's lone point.

All 5 feet, 3 inches of Miranda Ramirez stepped into a packed lecture hall at Syracuse for the first time. Last month, she arrived at SU and felt intimidated partly from being new to campus. But mostly, she felt out of place because her classroom for the previous four years was just her, her mom and her laptop.

“It was a little bit overwhelming at first,” Ramirez said. “I think in high school it would’ve been a little bit too much for me.”

By homeschooling throughout high school, Ramirez spent extra hours training on the court. She split time between her native Texas and Florida, where she trained at a tennis academy year-round. Six weeks after arriving to Syracuse, the freshman has shined in both doubles and singes for SU (2-5, 0-1 Atlantic Coast).

While other students sat in a classroom for seven or eight hours per day, Ramirez would wake up around 7 a.m. to study. By 8 a.m. she would be off to train for the rest of the morning.

After lunch, she did some of her school work. Then she was back to the court for even more practice. After completing training for the day, it was back again once more to the computer to tie up any loose ends on school work.

The flexibility to work on her own terms and at her own pace allowed her to dedicate hours she wouldn’t have otherwise had to tennis. The homeschooling allowed her to evenly split time between sport and school. She said overall she spent probably the same amount of time between tennis and school.

“Some days I had more work,” Ramirez said, “some days I had less work so it varied.”

Being homeschooled had its drawbacks. Living in Florida with her mother, Ramirez couldn’t see her dad much because he had to stay close to his office back in Texas. He visited and watched her play, but Ramirez spent a majority of the year in the Sunshine state apart from her father.

Ramirez likely ended up having less time to herself than an average student, she said. The whole reason for homeschooling was dedicating more time to tennis, which ate up time that might’ve been dedicated to other pursuits.

Against Brown on Sunday, she was the only player to win a singles match, toppling her opponent in straight sets. The freshman has lost just once in singles, coming against Columbia in the second game of the year. She is normally slotted at No. 2 or No. 3 singles for the Orange.

“She’s been playing some big time tennis,” SU head coach Younes Limam said.

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