PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast's Bianca Buie has signed to continue her tennis playing career at NCAA Division II University of Missouri-St. Louis.
"Here at Mississippi Gulf Coast, it was a good life experience and tennis experience," the sophomore from Baia Mare, Romania said. "I'm thankful for everything I've learned here. I had all the conditions to improve and a great coach who helped me in every situation."
Buie went 38-3 during her singles career at Gulf Coast, including a perfect 19-0 at No. 2 singles as a freshman on the way to the state and region championship. She won the No. 1 singles championship this year and is headed to the NJCAA Division I Women's Tennis Championship with the rest of the Lady Bulldogs next month.
Last year, she won the consolation draw at No. 1 doubles with teammate Paulina Estrada.
All the victories are proof of how much Buie matured as a tennis player at MGCCC.
"She was always a shot-maker, but she was immature handling adversity," coach Gary Bourgeois said. "We calmed her down and gave her some techniques to manage the match. She was losing to people she shouldn't have been losing to. She turned all that around."
Buie intends to study biotechnology at UMSL, which has a strong program with international players. The Tritons are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. They finished second in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament.
Buie says she's ready to take the next step in her American adventures.
"At the beginning, it was really hard," she said. "I learned to adapt. I learned the language, the Southern culture, the accent. Now I feel confident and I'm excited about it."
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