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Amanda Bercovici is one of the most recent additions to Goucher’s tennis team. The senior transfer
from Washington College is expected to be one of the strongest assets to the team this year. When asked of her decision to transfer, she said she chose Goucher because she wanted a school with students that were “progressive-minded, a little artsy, really friendly, liberal, and who valued study abroad.” Bercovici came back from her time abroad in Cork, Ireland feeling like an entirely different person. She wanted to attend a school “surrounded by people who are kind, different, and aren’t afraid to be themselves.” Goucher fit the bill.
So far, Bercovici has had a positive experience at Goucher, especially with her new team. She came from a very competitive atmosphere that wasn’t always healthy, so coming onto a very welcoming team was a nice change for her. The men’s and women’s teams make up her closest group of friends here, which has made a difficult adjustment much easier. Bercovici gave a lot of credit to coaches Sally Baum and Brendan Kincaid on her experience here thus far. She feels that the team is incredibly lucky to have them as coaches. In just a few short months, she said that Kincaid helped improved her tennis and is one of the greatest coaches she has ever had. Of Baum, she noted, “She is a great strategist and very experienced, and even more important than that, she makes sure to take care of her players on and off the court.” Bercovici has never had college coaches who are so supportive, and it is one of her favorite parts about the team so far.
The tennis team is known for its success here at Goucher. Last year, the women’s team was one of the most successful and Bercovici will help them stay at the top, where they want to be. As someone who began playing tennis at age 5 when her dad ran past a tennis club on his way home to pick up his keys after locking them in the car, she believes the off-season is the most important time to put in work. Her competitive game began at age 9, so she has had the opportunity to see a lot of places that she wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to if she hadn’t attended so many tournaments. When she is home, she works with her tennis coach, Tatsumi Okuda, who has been nationally recognized by the USTA as one of the best coaches in the East. He has allowed her to see the differences between good and great players, which has in turn allowed her to improve her own game, as well as that of the kids she coaches in the summer. The combination of her coaches Okuda, Baum, and Kincaid will allow her to become an even better player. Each of them, as well as the entire athletic department at Goucher, have “really pushed for me this whole time, and I know how lucky I am to have that.”
Bercovici’s experience in the classroom has been just as positive as it has been on the court. An English major with a concentration in creative writing, she hopes to teach English abroad for a year before she settles down into teaching English or coaching tennis. Bercovici is so far impressed by how welcoming the professors are. She noticed right away that they want to see their students succeed. The students in the class are interesting and kind, which makes the classes even more enjoyable.
Just two months into the school year, Goucher seems to be a great fit for Amanda Bercovici. With a love for her new team, her coaches, her classes, and the other students at school, it has been a positive change in her life. As the Goucher tennis team finishes out its fall season and begins winter training, there is no doubt that they will work hard and go far in their spring season.