The tennis team at Sam Houston State University is the best it has ever been. Under the leadership of head coach Rob Hubbard, one big reason for its success is senior star Lusine Chobanyan.
Before even touching a collegiate court, Chobanyan already had a number of accomplishments to her name. She was ranked the No. 2 female and was a former No.1 junior in Armenia. She also became the youngest female (15) to win Armenia’s ladies under-16 title and represented Armenia in the World Federation Cup tournament.
Chobanyan is a transfer student from The University of Texas at Arlington and arrived at SHSU in 2017. She has enjoyed her time here and is grateful that she decided to transfer.
“It’s awesome,” Chobanyan exclaimed. “I love it here.”
In her first season as a Bearkat, she recorded the second-most wins (25) by a sophomore in school history. Last season she was a first-team All-Southland Conference selection with 26 wins, tied for the third-most single-season wins in school history.
She also helped the school reach its first ever SLC championship round birth. Although they came up just short, she does not want to settle there.
“We definitely want to win the conference tournament,” Chobanyan said. “That’s the main goal. I also want to win as many matches as I can so I can contribute to this great school. The main goal is to win the conference tournament and be the first team [at SHSU] to make it to NCAA.”
Hubbard could not say enough about his star player.
“Great player, even better person,” Hubbard said. “When I took over as head coach, I saw her play as a freshman and knew she was talented. I saw her on the transfer wire and knew I had to have her on this team.”
Hard work is a major part of her and the team’s success.
“The whole team, we work hard,” Chobanyan said. “A lot of hard work, dedication and try to minimize some stuff so we can focus on the important stuff. I want to leave the impression of someone who worked hard, that gave everything they could.”
When beginning her collegiate career, Chobanyan always had high aspirations but never thought she would be able to accomplish this much.
“I always dream big,” Chobanyan said. “Getting the results is awesome. It’s not only my work, it’s the work of our coaches… being there for us every second, giving their advice, trying to do everything possible and impossible for us to achieve those results.”
One of the biggest reasons for all this success is the help of people around her. When transferring schools, it can sometimes be difficult to learn a new school’s program and be accepted, especially for athletes. That was not the case for Chobanyan as she has had a wonderful supporting cast.
“It’s like a second family here,” Chobanyan said. “We don’t have our parents here to ask for advice. In life and on the court, they have been there for us in every aspect of our life… encouragement, cheering, believing. They believed in us when we didn’t, when we believed the least in that tough moment.”
In all her years at SHSU, Chobanyan has shown that she is one of the school’s best all-around athletes, not just on the court but also in the classroom.
Chobanyan is poised to have her best season yet in her final year, and has high hopes that the team will compete to win the SLC tournament for the first time in school history. With this goal in mind going into her last season, she also wants to leave one last thing with the program and all SHSU students.
“I want people to start believing in their dreams and achieving them,” Chobanyan said. “That will be easier to convince them if we win the conference tournament and that will be a way to say thank you to [SHSU] for contributing to our success.”