Netters Marovic, Strohm, Baritot make it “Advantage: Academics”
When senior Mia Marovic learned she had been among three women tennis players selected as Female Student-Athletes of the Month, her furrowed brow disappeared and a smile crept across her face.
“It was great,” she said. “It had been a hard week.”
Senior Kendra Strohm was pleased “because our pictures are up in Belmont (Hall).”
Marovic, Strohm and Kelly Baritot all have been on the All-Big 12 Conference Academic teams and all have earned scholarships during their matriculation at Texas.
Marovic was honored with the Fallon Vaughn Legacy Scholarship in 2004 and the Fern Marlis Younger Endowed Scholarship in 2005.
Strohm received the Fallon Vaughn Legacy Scholarship in 2003 and 2005 and the Anne Haskins Grousbeck Scholarship for Academic Excellence in 2004.
Baritot was awarded the Keenan Presidential Scholarship in 2003, the Anne Caswell Allison Endowed Presidential Scholarship in 2004 and the Carolyn Frost Keenan Endowed Presidential Scholarship in 2005.
“Mia, Kendra and Kelly are all very committed students and have a collective GPA above 3.0,” said Dr. Randa Ryan, senior associate athletics director for student services. “This is especially impressive when you know the kinds of classes they are in.
“They all have taken on challenging academic responsibilities and have all remained steadfast in their commitment to play tennis at the highest level as evidenced by their success in the NCAAs last year when they were runners-up for the national title.
“Even more than that is they remain friends and leaders, serving as excellent examples of Texas student-athletes.”
Baritot, a corporate communications major, competed in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the NCAAs last year and twice has been named to the All-Big 12 Conference academic team.
Strohm, who propelled Texas into the 2005 NCAA title match with a victory in the semifinals, is a two-time member of the All-Big 12 Conference academic team. Strohm is a kinesiology major, with a leaning to pre-dental, she says.
Strohm reports that she will be headed for dental school when she graduates.
“To be chosen as a student-athlete of the month means a lot because of all the time that we spend on the court and to be recognized for academics is great,” said Strohm, expanding beyond her liking that their pictures up in Belmont Hall.
Strohm, who is from Tucson, owns the distinction of being the only woman to ever have won four Arizona state tennis titles, causing one to wonder how Arizona State and Arizona let her get away.
“I had been looking at Georgia, Stanford, USC and Texas,” Strohm said. “I was going to see Florida, but that was 9/11 and I never got there.”
Once she set foot in Austin, well, it was game, set and match, Longhorns. Strohm said before coming to UT, the furthest she had gotten into Texas was El Paso.
“Great academics, great tennis, great city,” she said, listing reasons to committing. “The academics were important. Academics always have been important to me. You can only play tennis for so long. I’m looking at the next 50 years.”
Marovic, who was born and raised in Croatia, appreciates the Student-Athlete of the Month recognition because of the work she puts in on her studies, along with the time spent on tennis.
“I’m an economics major and this is a hard load this year, with all upper division courses,” said Marovic, who has a minor in Eastern European studies.
Marovic, who spent her first 18 years in Croatia, and says she plans to return there to live, started her college career at Temple University in Philadelphia.
“Friends of mine from home went there and told me to come there,” Marovic explained. “I did not like it.”
Another friend suggested Texas, but Marovic wasn’t sure because when she thought of Texas, she thought of…
“Cowboys, cactus, horses, desert,” she began, laughing.
She admitted never having heard of Darrell Royal or Earl Campbell.
“Then, when I came to Austin.” she said, “I thought to myself ‘oh my, what a pretty city.’
“And school has been great. I’m very glad I came.”