A native of Talavera De La Reina, Spain, senior Carla Corrochano Moracho has served as an integral part on the Slippery Rock University tennis team for the past three years. She has twice received All-PSAC West honors in singles play and once in doubles while being named a PSAC Scholar Athlete in each of her three years at SRU.
At an early age, Corrochano Moracho was encouraged by her parents, both of whom were high school athletes, to get involved in a sport. She chose to compete in an individual sport rather than play on a team.
“I liked swimming a lot so I was between tennis and swimming. I tried tennis first and decided to stick with it,” Carla said. The game began as a hobby, but she took it more seriously as she grew older.
Following her graduation from Santa Maria H.H Maristas, Corrochano Moracho wanted to continue playing tennis at a high level while also receiving a quality secondary education.
“If I would have stayed in Spain, I would have had to choose between playing tennis at a competitive level and going to school. I liked the model [that is here] in the U.S.,” she stated. “The leagues and tournaments you play in [in Spain], they don’t have the same level [of competition] because they […] focus more on school. They don’t do both. When you go to a university [in Spain], it’s to go get a major.”
After contacting an agency that dealt with the paperwork and connected her to universities here in the United States, Corrochano Moracho found herself across the Atlantic in an unfamiliar setting here at SRU. “My very first semester here as a freshman, I was like, ‘What am I doing here?'” Carla said. Other than the obvious language barrier, Carla’s biggest struggle in adjusting to life in western Pennsylvania was our eating pattern and meal times. “[At home], we wouldn’t have lunch until 2:30 or 3:00 and we wouldn’t have dinner until 9:00 […] It was kind of weird at first.” The sometimes-indecisive weather in western Pennsylvania was also frustrating for her to get acclimated to.
A business marketing major in the classroom, Carla benefitted from the opportunity for closer academic relationships with her professors. She feels she can interact with her instructors and ask questions when unclear on a topic, something she is not sure she could have done if she had attended college in Spain.
“Whenever you go to college at home [in Spain], [the sizes] of classes are way bigger and you’re basically just a number to [the professors],” she said. “Here, you actually have a name.”
Along with being honored as a student-athlete by the PSAC, she has been named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association scholar athlete twice and was a recipient of a Division II Athletic Directors Association academic achievement award her sophomore year.
“It’s just organizing your time and knowing what you have to do and knowing your priorities,” Carla said. “It’s been hard but it’s paying off.”
Corrochano Moracho has also excelled on the court for The Rock, as she has been one half of the team’s number one doubles pairing each of her four seasons here and also serving as either the team’s number one or two singles performer.
“[My parents] are my biggest role models when it comes to anything, but in tennis, the coach I have back home [has been a big influence]. I’ve spent ten years with him and he’s basically taught me everything I know,” she said. Carla has also picked up on her mentality and style from teammates she has played alongside and coaches that have guided her.
She credits Spain for influencing the values and passion that has driven her to succeed here at Slippery Rock. “We are hard-working people in general and I guess that’s always been with me and that’s going to be with me wherever else I go,” said Carla. She has enjoyed the experiences she has had here and the memories she’s made. “It’s pretty cool [to be able to represent Spain at SRU]. I’m pretty proud of being a Spaniard and traveling the world and coming here. I’m representing my university, but I’m also a Spaniard.”