Illinois based Oakton College’s Zarina Sayed, a sophomore tennis player, is set to compete in the NJCAA Division I Women’s Tennis singles National Championship from May 6-10 in Tyler, Texas, she will also compete in doubles with Elizabeth (Ellie) Martin.
Sayed expressed her excitement and gratitude for the opportunities that playing at Oakton has provided her. She has been training hard, focusing on physical and mental preparation, and her goal is to win the championship. Sayed was the runner-up in the NJCAA Region IV Division I tournament last fall, which qualified her for nationals. Her coach, Alfredo Velasco, commends her dedication and consistency, both on and off the court. Sayed grew up in Skokie, having moved there from St. Petersburg, Russia, and started playing tennis at the age of 8. She fell in love with the sport while at Niles North High School, where she became the number one singles player.
She describes tennis as an individual sport that requires a strong mindset, and she admires Serena Williams for her confidence on and off the court. Sayed is a psychology major at Oakton and also teaches and plays doubles at River Trails Tennis Center in Mount Prospect.