LSU Gold

For Anita Sahdiieva, Growth on the Courts Comes From Teammates-Turned-Family

by Courtney Howell | South Stadium Productions Graduate Student
For Anita Sahdiieva, Growth on the Courts Comes From Teammates-Turned-Family

Gratefully embracing her LSU Women’s Tennis team as her new family in America, Anita Sahdiieva cherishes the bond formed on and off the court. 

LSU has given Sahdiieva an opportunity to excel athletically, academically and communally. She’s immensely grateful for how Baton Rouge, her teammates, and the LSU community inspire her to grow. 

“My team at LSU has greatly influenced who I am by fostering a culture of discipline, teamwork, and perseverance,” Sahdiieva said. “Being surrounded by motivated and driven individuals pushes me to constantly strive for excellence both on and off the court. The love and appreciation for both Baton Rouge and LSU stem from the incredible support system we have here and our sense of community.” 

Whether it is the roaring crowds, or the encouragement from her fellow student-athletes, there is a unique bond that fuels her passion for representing LSU.

Sahdiieva embraces the mentality of learning to embrace challenges, adapting to new situations, and to lead by example on and off the court. Traveling from Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana was the first step on her remarkable journey as she strives to reach all of her goals. In navigating the challenges of transitioning to a new place, team, and atmosphere, LSU has been a steadfast support for Anita Sahdiieva. 

“Settling into Baton Rouge with a new team and community was initially challenging, but the warmth and inclusivity of both the team and the local community made the transition smoother,” she said. “Everyone was welcoming and supportive, which made me feel at home quickly. LSU athletics has also inspired me to excel through its rich history of success and a strong drive for continuous improvement.” 

The Ukranian enjoyed a strong debut campaign for the Tigers this past season, posting a 12-4 singles record and a 15-11 doubles record. She started every match for the Tigers, and her 12 singles wins in the spring was the joint most on the team. The team enjoyed a successful season, going 16-11 and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years. Sahdiieva was a core piece of the team’s success, picking up wins in doubles and singles to help the Tigers to victory.

She’s not only a tremendous tennis player, but Sahdiieva’s also an athlete driven by strong determination. She’s constantly pushed to continue improving by her coaches, teammates and the naturally competitive spirit within LSU Athletics; a challenge she embraces. The support of her tennis family is credited as a significant factor in shaping her into the player she is today.

“Everyone’s unwavering support and high expectations drive me to push past my limits. The bonds I’ve formed with my teammates have been instrumental in improving my game this past season. The trust and understanding we have for each other on and off the court ultimately elevates all of our performances.” 

Since stepping foot onto campus, I’ve grown tremendously as a player and as a person. I’ve developed stronger mental resilience, improved my technical skills, and deepened my understanding of what it means to be part of a team. My biggest goals for my senior season next year include leading my team to conference success, further honing my skills as a player and a person, and leaving a lasting impact on the program that has become my second family.” 

Sahdiieva’s grown, both as a tennis player and as a person since stepping foot on campus last August. A strong mentality combined with teammates-turned-family members, her transformative journey leaves her eager to continue evolving and make a lasting impact heading into her senior year.