The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Ukrainian Ace

City College student and lifelong volleyball player Natasha Vinnikova poses with her teammates. Photo by ||Jesse Charlton||[email protected]

She cried for three months. What would you do? You’re a great volleyball player. You’re playing on a beautiful European beach for a club team. In your eyes, everything is wonderful, life is good.

Then you’re uprooted and moved halfway around the world to a place where you know not a soul and don’t even speak the language, except “hi,” “bye,” and “My name is Natasha.”

Natasha Vinnikova is a 22-year-old star volleyball player for City College, who has a good group of friends, a job, and a car. But that hasn’t always been the case.

When she was 18 her parents informed her that the family would be moving from the Ukraine to the United States. The papers had already been approved. No date was set. Life began to crumble.

It was her father’s brother who gave the family a big old arm wave to come on out and live in the Sacramento area. She has two brothers, the oldest of whom stayed because he could. He was 21 years old. Vinnikova wished she was too.

Once here, life was pretty empty: very little money, no car for transportation, no English, no volleyball, and most important to Vinnikova of all the missing ingredients, no friends. Everything she once had was now thousands of miles away.

So what does an 18-year-old immigrant girl find herself doing when she is all alone? She gets on the Internet and uses Skype to say “privet” (“hello” in Ukraine) to all her friends. That, and she eats things that are not common in the Ukraine.

Common side-effects of systemic immunomodulatory therapy (impact the entire immune system) and newer biologic drugs buy online cialis (target individual mediator or specific pathway of the immune system) include increased risk of infection, flu-like symptoms, injection site reactions, and weakened immune system. When the NO / cGMP pathway is activated, as occurs with sexual stimulation, inhibition of PDE5 by levitra samples increased levels of cGMP in the corpus cavernosum, resulting in smooth muscle relaxation and inflow of blood to the optic nerves. With or without treating the impotence condition, there are things that you viagra generic discount need to do. According to the feedback of several people, these pills lead to an increase of 3 inches in penis length and thickness without side effects. viagra order canada “I was eating bananas like crazy, maybe 15 a day,” Vinnikova says with her golden smile. “My dad was buying boxes of them, but now, I can’t eat them anymore.”

When people are in unfamiliar surroundings, naturally they look for things that comfort they, things they know. Vinnikova sought out volleyball, and it was through the sport that she learned English. Not the grammatical “i before e except after c” type of English, but on the court was where she learned to communicate.

Vinnikova began playing more and more volleyball with friends at open gyms. The fire within was once again lit. She knew she had to practice more, the way she had practiced in the Ukraine.

Her tears begin to dry: she found a close friend, also named Natasha, who attended the same church. Her friend Sergey suggested Vinnikova practice with the City College women’s volleyball team. She had never heard of City College before, though City College has qualified for the state championship in volleyball every year since 2006.

“I knew we were getting someone special,” says Laurie Nash, Panthers women’s volleyball head coach. “It was very challenging to communicate with her, but volleyball became our common language.”

If volleyball is the common language, then Vinnikova speaks it well.

As a City College freshman, she was the 2009 Big 8 Conference Most Valuable Player, made the All-State team and eventually was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) 2nd team.

If this year is anything like the last, Natasha Vinnikova might find herself crying all over again, but this time they might be tears of joy.

Donate to The Express

Your donation will support the student journalists of Sacramento City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Express