Montserrat Makes the Most of Her Time at UMO
MOUNT OLIVE- When tennis player Ingrid Montserrat made the decision to attend the University of Mount Olive (UMO), she knew she would be playing on a whole new court-literally. Born in Tarragona, Spain, this international student was unaware of UMO until she received a surprise email from an Assistant Tennis Coach at UMO.
“I started researching, and I really liked what people and sources said about UMO,” Montserrat explained. “The atmosphere appeared to be very inviting and the athletics program looked amazing.”
Introduced to tennis at the age of six, Montserrat always dreamed of competing at the collegiate level. The offer of an athletic scholarship from UMO sealed the deal for the 18-year old. She enrolled at the University in fall of 2019 majoring in business management.
“Although it’s hard being away from my family, they have supported my decision to come to the USA for college,” she said. “My mum passed away five years ago, and it made me realize that we have to try to make the most of every opportunity.”
Arriving a week before the start of school, Montserrat was introduced to the culture and community of eastern North Carolina by locals Bill and Donna Haggerty along with their teenage daughter Amanda. Connected to the family through UMO’s Head Tennis Coach Kevin Coghill, the family of tennis players took Montserrat to the beach and helped her get familiar with the community in Mount Olive.
“It was a good opportunity to get used to the new culture before arriving on campus,” she said. “The Haggerty family made me feel at home, and they still attend some of my matches.”
Attending CAB (Campus Activity Board) events like bingo night and campus cookouts has enabled Montserrat to meet new friends. “I try to take part in activities that the University offers to get to know different people,” she shared. “I have already formed great bonds with my peers and professors.”
Montserrat attends classes and completes a rigorous practice session each day. Always making time for others, she enjoys building relationships with her teammates and classmates by journeying to the first place the Haggertys took her- the beach. “I love the friendships that our team has developed,” expressed Montserrat. “Because most of us are international students, I have found ways to balance my life by learning about their cultures and backgrounds.”
Although only just getting started in her collegiate endeavors, Montserrat is already planning ahead. After earning her bachelor’s degree, the young athlete plans to pursue her master’s degree in business and return to her home country of Spain to put her education to good use.
“Being part of the Trojan family is so exciting,” Montserrat said. “I know my time at UMO will be an experience that I will never forget.”
Montserrat is the daughter of Joan Montserrat Rull and the late Veronica Montserrat Ranz. She has two brothers, Joan and Victor Montserrat Montserrat.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has education service centers in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, and Jacksonville. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.