Tennis’s Safran serving up one final act for senior season

by Andrew Hoenig

Heading into the 2018 season, tennis player Shelli Safran has her eyes set on finishing her collegiate career strong.
The junior from Boxborough, Mass. originally grew up in her home country of Israel until her family came to America when she was 11-years old.

Safran said, “I’m also Ukranian because my parents are originally from the Ukraine before they moved to Israel.”

She’s grown used to the million questions that come when she tells people where she’s from but still hasn’t fully accepted her new home. Safran and her family have visited Israel five times since moving to the states.

“The transition from there to here was definitely difficult.” said Safran. “But I’ve been playing for 10 years and yeah I love the sport. I played many [others] before but really fell in love with tennis.”

For her there was nothing that made the transition easier but she did find a place on the women’s tennis team at Franklin Pierce.

Safran has played two seasons at FPU since finishing at Acton-Boxborough High.

Junior Shelli Safran continues to persevere in playing the sport she loves most. (Photo:

In her first season as a freshman, Safran went a combined 0-11 overall at number 5 singles. This means that she was the fifth match out of the six singles matches (6 singles, 3 doubles).

In number 3 doubles, however, she picked up her first collegiate win with then teammate Lyla Austin.

Safran’s sophomore season was cut short by injury after suffering from Achilles tendinitis. She finished her year losing her only singles match and three more in doubles.

Originally, Safran quit her junior year because she wanted to focus more on school but decided to return and capped it off by playing this past March and losing in five of her six singles matches, and also her five doubles.

This upcoming senior year means more to her than most, because it is her last chance to prove what she is made of.
Her record does not deter her from continuing to fight and play the sport she has adopted since just before moving to the U.S. in 2008.

Safran said, “It’s hard when you’re putting so much effort and feel like you’re not getting anything out of it.”

Safran is a health science major who is studying to be a physical therapist with a minor in psychology. She plans on going to grad school for two and a half years after graduating.

“Tennis has been such a big part of my life. It’s my last year and I want to try and push it till the very end no matter what,” said Safran.

Though she’s had to overcome many different obstacles, Safran is still determined to prove to everyone what she’s got in her senior year.

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