McGlashen excels despite coming from across globe

When sophomore Andy McGlashen first stepped foot in the U.S. less than two years ago, he was a stranger in a foreign land.

Recruited by Lakeland College in summer 2009, the Southampton, U.K., native might have been seen by the untrained eye as an out-of place kid who thrust himself into a situation where he would fail.

Sophomore Andy McGlashen has been a star since the day he stepped on campus. Hailing from Southampton, U.K., he has not only taken over the No. 1 singles role for the Warhawks, but has made a seamless transition into life as an American.

This is the case with many international athletes, who return home after a year in the U.S. due to many different circumstances.

But when McGlashen finally made his way onto Wisconsin soil, he felt right at home. He just needed to change schools to make everything perfect.

“[Lakeland’s] tennis team wasn’t that great so I got in touch with [head coach] Frank Barnes and decided to come to UW-Whitewater,” McGlashen said.

When deciding what to do after he graduated from high school, McGlashen was very interested in playing tennis for a college team. But in the U.K., tennis is not offered as a collegiate sport.

McGlashen uploaded a video of himself playing tennis on YouTube, and received an e-mail from a coach from Lakeland.

Coming from a country in which soccer is the most popular sport, one might think McGlashen would have been forced into making that sport his main focus.

For McGlashen’s misfortune and the Warhawks’ gain, he kept getting injured playing soccer.

“I eventually had to pick one [sport],” McGlashen said. “I think I chose the right one.”

You can say that again. McGlashen has filled in nicely at the No. 1 and No. 2 singles position for the ’Hawks, compiling a 7-5 record through the early part of the season.

Barnes said McGlashen’s talent is off the charts. But Barnes said the part of his game he needs to work on is his mental approach.

“He’s easily rattled in matches and he knows that,” Barnes said. “He has huge expectations for himself, and when [he’s] not living up to them his confidence suffers.”

McGlashen’s toughness isn’t only seen on the tennis court.

Off the court, he has been able to weather the difficult adjustment associated with going to college in another country.

The biggest change he has had to make is not being able to rely on his parents anymore.

“You have to do everything yourself,” McGlashen said. “It’s a learning experience.”

Fortunately for the Warhawks, McGlashen seems to be learning just fine.