Less than two weeks ago, junior Nuria Ormeno Ruiz made history for the University of Colorado women’s tennis team, becoming the first Buffaloes player to win a singles title at the USTA/ITA Mountain Region championships in Las Vegas. The victory gives the native of Barcelona, Spain, an automatic berth in the USTA National Indoor Championships on Nov. 12-15 in New York.
Q: Did you expect to be able to compete for a championship at the Mountain Region tournament?
Ormeno Ruiz: I wasn’t expecting to get the finals. Every time I played a match I was like, “Wow, one more.” That was a big shock for me.
Q: Had you ever been to the United States before visiting CU?
Ormeno Ruiz: I’d never been to the states before I came here. My first time in the states was when I came here for my official visit in July of 2013. It was a big change for me. Everything was different. Everything was bigger. The food, you have to get used to it. I came here for college and tennis and it was a great opportunity.
Q: Did you visit other schools around the country?
Ormeno Ruiz: Not really. I talked to other coaches before coming here, but I didn’t have the chemistry I had with coach Nicole (Kenneally) and the assistants. CU was the best school. They offered me and that’s the main reason I came here. I talked to them on the phone and I really liked them. They were really nice to me and they gave me long talks. They didn’t convince me, that’s the thing, but they put the opportunity out there. It was more like just talking. That’s what I liked and why I came here.
Q: When did the idea of playing college tennis in the United States become your goal?
Ormeno Ruiz: When I was 15, I played in professional tournaments and had a USTA ranking. I sat down with my parents and said I really like this. But my parents were like, “Yeah, but we can’t afford it. It’s really expensive.” Traveling everywhere in Europe and North America and South America, it gets really expensive. I couldn’t find any sponsors that would help travel for me. If I wanted to keep playing tennis, this was another option. At first leaving my parents and friends was really hard, but I wanted to keep playing tennis. That’s probably the main reason why I can here, because my parents couldn’t afford to keep paying for my tennis career.
Q: How often do you get to see your family?
Ormeno Ruiz: I get to see my parents at winter break and in the summer for like a month and a half. They’ve never come here, so hopefully for graduation or my senior year next year, hopefully they can come.