Inga Radel's first impression of the United States was not very good.\n"My flight was canceled, and I had to stay the night in Chicago," said Radel, a freshman on the women's tennis team. "I couldn't eat anything because all the restaurants were closed. And on top of that, my luggage got lost." \nIn spite of her original difficulties, Radel has done a remarkable job of acclimating herself to the United States. \n"My team has helped me adjust," she said, "I am glad that I have a team. Other international students who don't have a team (foundation) like this seem to have more trouble adjusting." \nWhen deciding on which college to attend, Radel made visits to schools in Florida. She ultimately chose IU because she said she felt schools in the north, and especially IU, provided a substantial balance between tennis and academics. \nRadel credits her teammate Martina Grimm, also a German native, and the team's German strength coach with expediting her decision to attend IU by making her feel more at home. \n"I miss my friends the most," Radel said. "But I think that it is good to spend at least one year in a foreign country and to get to know other people, another culture and another language." \nRadel enjoys the challenges that she has been presented with thus far. \n"In Germany, you know the line-up from the beginning of the season, and it does not change," Radel said. "Here, the coach can change the line-up, so there is more competition within the team." \nDespite the ever-present pressures of competition, Radel said she feels that the team unity and spirit of the Hoosiers far surpasses anything she could have ever anticipated. \nThe most shocking difference Radel noted between tennis in Germany and the United States is the intense conditioning. Radel went from practicing two times a week to extensive training that requires a more thorough commitment. \nShe also added weight training to her workout curriculum. Radel differentiated between the hard court surface used in the United States and the clay and carpeted courts of Europe. \n"The change of court surfaces has been hard on my body," Radel said. \nRadel suffered from a pulled stomach muscle and from a back and shoulder injury in the fall. The nagging injuries continue to linger.\nDespite the inherent disadvantages associated with injuries, Radel maintained her perfect spring record.\n"Inga has been a good addition to our team," Coach Lin Loring said. "She is a strong singles and doubles player and is very, very competitive. She hates to lose. She is also an excellent student." \nRadel tarnished her undefeated record this past weekend in the match against Tennessee. Regardless, she still shares the best spring singles record for the Hoosiers at 8-1. She is also 8-1 in doubles action.\nRadel is looking forward to the upcoming Big Ten season and asserts that she will do her best to bring home a victory for the Hoosiers. \nBut before the Big Ten season begins, the Hoosiers have to contend with a pre-season schedule. \nIU seeks to rebound from last week's loss to the Tennessee Lady Vols. IU plays the Indiana State Sycamores 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Hoosiers were originally scheduled to play both ISU and Louisville, but the match against the Cardinals was canceled.\nJunior Karie Schlukebir is looking forward to the match with hopes that it will be good practice for the upcoming Big Ten matches. \nIU leads ISU with an undefeated head-to-head record of 7-0 and has no reason to anticipate anything less than a victory. \nSophomores Grimm, with her arm in a sling, and Linda Tran, with a hip injury, will still be in the line-up. J.J. Levin continues to be out with a back injury but is starting to hit again. \n"Though we are not 100 percent healthy, we are stronger than ISU, and we should win," Loring said. "We have spent most of the week working on individual things for singles. I expect a strong showing for singles"
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