Emilija Platukyte, a junior boarding student from Kaunas, Lithuania, finished the 2017 spring season a perfect 7-0 in the number one singles slot for Madeira Tennis. Ema is currently attending The Madeira School through the Lithuanian Assist Program, an exchange program in Europe that places high school students in private schools in the United States, and was one of six students chosen for the selective program. During the fall tennis season, Ema earned league honors as a member of the All-ISL Division A Team, and was named to the 2016 VISAA All-State Second Team for Division I.
"High school athletics in Europe are not as competitive," Ema stated when asked about the differing levels of play. "I have been playing tennis for 10 years, and until coming to Madeira, I had never been a part of a legitimate team. This was probably the best experience I've had in my tennis career."
Ema plans to return to Lithuania to share her experiences with her classmates, and of course, continue playing tennis whenever possible. "Tennis will always be a part of my life. I think that the experience of playing in college would be fun, but my focus is academics, so I'd have to find somewhere that I could excel at both academics and athletics."
Ema reflected, "I am very thankful to Madeira for allowing me the opportunity to be here for a year and to be a part of an amazing community that I will never forget."
Congratulations, Emilija, on all of your successes this year, and best of luck in your future academic and athletic endeavors!