It seemed like just another ordinary practice. Junior Luna Dormet was training with the rest of the Ohio State women’s tennis team, hitting the fluorescent yellow ball back and forth. A simple phone call turned the practice into something more.
Dormet received a call from her mom and eventually learned that she would represent her home country, France, in an international university tennis tournament Friday through Sunday.
“It was really funny because we were at practice, and her mom called her, and she was like, ‘Have you looked at your email? Did you get anything?’” sophomore Kolie Allen said.
Dormet did not originally believe her mom and argued with her until she looked at her email.
“She felt stupid but was so excited,” Allen said.
Dormet, from Tours, France, will represent the country in the Master’U BNP Paribas tournament in Grenoble, France, against university players from seven other countries, including the United States.
“It honestly means a lot. It is the first time I am going to play for France,” Dormet said. “In France, there are not a lot of college matches, and I do not get to play them as a team. I am excited about being able to do both.”
Dormet played for the Buckeyes for the past season after transferring from Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, which has prominent programs for second-language English speakers.
“She came in last year as a transfer, unsure of how it was gonna go, and to see her progression from last year to this year, she’s a completely different player,” head coach Melissa Schaub said. “It means a lot to her. I think just to show the development that she has had. I think she got overlooked for a few years, and now she’s getting called up.”
Dormet’s work ethic is having an influence on her teammates in practice.
“We do tough drills, like, we have to run around all four courts, and she’s screaming at everyone to put in their best effort and run as fast as they can even though they are already dead,” Allen said.
The tournament in France is an opportunity for Dormet to keep her game fresh for the Buckeyes’ regular season. She is 28-7 overall in singles play and leads the team in singles victories.
The event also allows for the Buckeyes to potentially obtain a recruiting edge on an international level, Schaub said. Any Ohio State exposure at an international tournament is significant.
Half of the current Ohio State women’s tennis roster is from outside the U.S.
Both Schaub and Allen said Dormet wears her nationality on her sleeves, especially when it comes to cuisine. Allen said when the team goes out to eat, Dormet is particular about ordering french bread.
“I am very French. The whole team knows that. I always still dress up while people are wearing Ohio State stuff. I know I am different, but I do not want to change because I’m myself. I’m French,” Dormet said.
During Ohio State matches, Dormet regularly chants, “Allez Buckeyes,” which means, “Go Buckeyes,” in French. When cheering for her teammates this weekend, though, no translation will be necessary.