Less than a month into her first semester, freshman tennis player Sara Burinato achieved a milestone no other NYIT student has attained – becoming the first NYIT women's tennis player to win the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Regional Singles Championship, Sept. 17-19. Winning four straight matches in two days, she came from behind to win the final.
"Traveling down to Philadelphia and playing against the best players in the region has been the best experience so far this semester," says Burinato, whose 14-1 record in singles for NYIT has earned her a spot on the East Coast Conference (ECC) First Team and the honor of ECC Rookie of the Year.
The Barcelona, Spain, transplant started playing tennis at age six after her parents signed her up for lessons. The opportunity to travel one reason she loves the sport.
"I've traveled to Dublin and Portugal," Burinato says. "I would say Dublin was my favorite because I traveled with my entire team. It was also the first time I played on grass. We don't have grass courts in Spain."
Burinato moves on to the ITA National Small College Championship, Oct. 13-16 in Mobile, Ala.
Off the court, she is focused on studying aerospace engineering, a major she says fits her scientific, practical nature.
"I find it very interesting how airplanes are made," Burinato says. "I would like to create something like that someday."
Though Burinato feels homesick at times for her family and friends in Spain, she finds a welcome distraction in exploring New York City's restaurants and attractions.
"I decided to come to NYIT for its location and because I know the academics are really good," she says. "I look forward to the next four years of tennis and my education."