LSU Gold

College Tennis Gave Maya Tahan a New Perspective on the Sport

by Courtney Howell | South Stadium Productions Graduate Student
College Tennis Gave Maya Tahan a New Perspective on the Sport

Personal development through athletics is what drives Israeli LSU women’s tennis player, Maya Tahan, to reach ultimate success throughout her time as a collegiate athlete representing LSU. Her journey exemplifies the desire to strive for greatness both on and off the court. 

For Tahan, Tiger Nation has an evident and electrifying atmosphere unlike anywhere else. 

“Sports culture in the US is something that I have never experienced before, especially at LSU,” Tahan says. “Here at LSU we have so many great athletes and teams around us, and to see them around campus or follow their journey and cheer for them during game days, it’s fun and inspiring.” 

Tahan, a graduate student, completing her time as an LSU Tiger, speaks upon her incredible moments competing for something bigger than herself. 

“Competing for your teammates, coaches, and something bigger than you, to do it with your friends and for people that you love and care about, is very special.”

Tahan exudes her gratitude for the passion she holds from belonging to an American college, academically and athletically. Journeying almost 7,000 miles away from home to a place with a fresh culture, unfamiliar language, and a team composed of individuals from various places around the globe, Tahan took the opportunity to play for an American university. Not knowing what to expect, it became the best decision she had ever made. 

Exceeding what she could have imagined, she chose somewhere so highly regarded as LSU to fuel her initiative to create remarkable victories. From her teammates, coaching staff, and academic advisors, she highly praises LSU for helping her grow up amidst a multitude of changes. Her experience at LSU has been an impactful experience. 

“The most valuable thing about LSU athletically is that my coaches gave me an opportunity to compete one more year in college tennis and represent LSU,” she says. 

Tahan is committed to embodying the term “student-athlete,” prioritizing her academic endeavors alongside her athletic pursuits. Reflecting on her journey, she acknowledges her personal and professional growth facilitated by her interactions with her teammates, coaches, peers, and professors. 

As Tahan’s LSU journey comes to its conclusion, she reflects on how she will miss it down in the Bayou as a Tiger, playing collegiate tennis. She remains thankful for the opportunity to compete an additional year as well as further her higher education as a Tiger. 

“College taught me a different side of the sport that made it more fun,” she says. “These years in college taught me how to be a good teammate, to cope with different types of pressure and how to look at tennis from a team perspective.”

Tennis has shaped Tahan as a significant team member for the Tigers athletically and academically. The decision to leave home, to attend LSU, and to complete her athletic and academic journey was never easy, but it made Tahan the person she is today. 

“Thanks to tennis I am who I am today,” she says. “Like any other athlete I have experienced ups and downs, and I am grateful for every moment. The tough times made me more resilient, taught me how to find solutions, deal with criticism and how to work hard. My favorite part of being part of LSU tennis is the people around me,” she says. “Coaches, trainers and teammates, they have made my experience at LSU so special.”

Tahan’s perspective on tennis has switched from an individual sport to a team concept, thanks to college athletics.