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The student news site of Seward County Community College

Crusader News

The student news site of Seward County Community College

Crusader News

‘The Paulas’ head to nationals

They’re not sisters but they’ve known each other long enough to know one another just as much. Paula Lopez (right) and Paula Coyos (left) are both from the same town, Tucuman, Argentina, and have known each other for eight years. According to Coyos, they have the same first name, the same classes, they’re roommates, they’re tennis partners and they pretty much spend 24 hours a day together.

The Paulas have similar lifestyles and they also share similar goals for their tennis season. For Lopez, making it to nationals for the second year in a row is “unique.” She shared that qualifying for nationals was the goal for them from the beginning of the season, and competing in singles and doubles gave her twice the chance to bring home the title.

On the other hand, Coyos reflected back to last year when she competed in Florida. She shared that this year the team will try to make it to the championships in South Carolina, but she is “so excited to be playing on those courts and to be able to represent the college.”

Without a doubt, Coyos and Lopez always try their hardest to represent the college to the best of their abilities; they are always finding ways to improve.

According to Lopez, her serve has improved since she first got to Seward, but right now she feels that her back hand could use some more work.

As for Coyos, improvement is something she looks for in everything she does. “Everyday I have something to work on,” Coyos said, “[but] I am proud of my doubles results of this season.”

Both work hard to be on the court, but they also work just as hard to make family members back home proud as well.

Lopez shared that she wished her family and best friend from back home could watch her play. “They love to watch me play, “ Lopez said. And they also shower her encouragement and support by giving her advice on ways to improve. “All of them play tennis and they know a lot about it, so they are always giving me advice from home to improve.”

When Coyos thinks about who she would want to be present while she played, the first person that comes to mind is her mom. Although her family can’t watch her play in person, Coyos stays positive and shared that “they are supporting me from back home just like the people here in the community who are supporting me a lot, and it keeps me going every day.”

The support and motivation goes a long way and Lopez and Coyos also try to reciprocate the same love and support they receive. “I always try to help my teammates,” Lopez explained, “not just in tennis, but I also try to talk to them when they are upset.” Coyos added that their teammates help each other out quite often, and that they have all gotten really close this year.

Teammate Xochitl Gonzalez has also noticed that the friendship between Lopez and Coyos is truly genuine. “They give each other a kiss on the cheek every time they win a match together,” Gonzalez shared about the duo. Appreciation and gratitude resonates strongly from both ladies it comes to the game they love.

Coach Jerry Thor had nothing but good things to say about both players; sharing many of their achievements and recognitions.

“Paula has come back from Argentina as our most improved returner,” Thor said. In her freshman year, Coyos received two Region VI titles and an All-American selection.

As for Lopez, Thor shared that her freshman year earned her the recognition as National Rookie of the Year and All-American honors.

Coyos was also named as the National Player to Watch back in May, and Thor added that Lopez is also an “exciting competitor on the court.”

Lopez won the New Mexico Military Invitational Flight A Championship, and as a duo, Lopez and Coyos won the New Mexico Invitational for Doubles.

As a duo, Lopez and Coyos can defeat and overcome the competition that comes their way, and even the things that may appear like challenges turn out to be advantages. For example, having the same first name.

“It’s not a problem having the same name,” Lopez said, “I like when people call us ‘The Paulas’ or ‘The Paulas’ Team’”. In addition, Coyos said that their names only become a challenge when they both turn around at the same time when someone happens to holler.


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‘The Paulas’ head to nationals