An Education Beyond Court, Classroom
March 31, 2017

BOISE, Idaho - Boise State women's tennis freshman Lilian Poling has been a sensation since arriving on campus. Poling, a five-star prospect, was a key piece in Boise State's 2016 recruiting class that ranked No. 25 nationally. She has spent the entire spring in the top half of the Broncos' singles lineup, racking up a 10-4 record, including playing 10 matches at the No. 2 position.

The on-court lessons have helped her adapt to college tennis, but as the team's only American-born player the off-court lessons have been invaluable as she prepares for the rest of her life. Learning to understand and appreciate her teammates' backgrounds, cultures and customs has helped Poling see more of what the world has to offer.

"There's a whole other world out there," said Poling. "Sometimes I forget it's not just America, there are a lot of other places with different cultures. So hearing about it and learning first hand how people grew up in different places, or where they started playing tennis, or how they were coached, it's really interesting to learn about."

The unique situation is one she shares with her head coach. For two seasons during his playing career, Beck Roghaar was the only American on the Boise State men's team. He has seen first hand the value in a diverse roster and the learning opportunities it can provide.

"When you look at what college really is," Roghaar said, "it's not just tennis, and an education in terms of what you're learning in your business classes and in geology. It's an education about life, and getting people around each other from different backgrounds with different customs and cultures and ways of thinking. It's really a great education."

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