By Michael Evanko
Danylo Veremeichuk is a name that may not be known to followers of Youngstown State University athletics, but he’s certainly accomplishing enough to change that.
Originally from Odessa, Ukraine, Veremeichuk came to America when he was 20 years old. He came to YSU in 2016 and transferred from the University of Physical Education and Sport in Ukraine. Now spending his early 20s in the United States, he has been trying to adjust to American culture.
“The one really good thing about American culture is that this country is the most international country in the world,” Veremeichuk said. “It’s pretty flexible. There are no judges based on religion, ethnicity or beliefs. It’s way easier to approach an American person than it is with someone from my home country.”
With the challenge of adapting to a new lifestyle, Veremeichuk also has to communicate with his teammates who range over multiple countries across the globe, and none of whom are from the Ukraine or even the U.S.
“We have one of the most international teams in the entire country because we don’t have any Americans on our team. It’s ten people and no Americans,” Veremeichuk said. “We’re all here internationally. We’re a big family. Since day one we have felt a spirit with our team,”
Penguins coach Ulises Hernandez is in his first season as coach of the Penguins and embraces the different cultures and background of his players.
“It’s been very easy. I was used to the environment of people from different places, but some countries I’ve never dealt with until I arrived here. There’s really no difference. They are players just from different cultures,” Hernandez said.
Veremeichuk started playing tennis when he was just 7 years old. He started out playing soccer, tennis and basketball like many American kids who play multiple sports, but ultimately fell in love with tennis.
In his sophomore season at YSU, Veremeichuk was selected to Second Team All-Horizon League. He finished the season with a 13-3 record in dual match play and came up big in Horizon League play where he finished 5-2.
In his junior season, the standout sophomore traded in his Second Team All-Horizon League title for a First Team All-Horizon League title this past season. Finishing the season with a record of 22-12 and 21-9 in doubles play.
This season, the men’s team has gotten more than just a great player. The senior has stepped up and become a role model for the future of the YSU tennis program.
“Without him, we wouldn’t have the foundation we have right now. But unfortunately we know we have to move on as he graduates. But he’s done everything he’s had to do to help everyone and is more of a team player than he has ever been in his career,” Hernandez said.
With a little less than a month left in the season, the men will need the leadership of Veremeichuk to stay focused for their five remaining matches against inner conference teams.
“Our goal for the rest of the season is to finish number one in the conference and win the Horizon League for the men. We have the team to do it. We just need to make it happen,” Hernandez said.
Veremeichuk is as humble as they come, which is a perfect characteristic for a leader. After winning Horizon player of the week, he was not one to boast and brag about his accomplishment.
“I really don’t think I was one of the best. But according to the opinion of coaches from different teams, they said I was the best. So obviously I will take this compliment, but it’s not like it gives me a big ego,” Veremeichuk said.
With Veremeichuk’s YSU career ending in a few weeks, he has plans of continuing his tennis career at the pro level.
“I want to play tennis professionally. I will try to earn money with tennis,” Veremeichuk said.
Hernandez sees the potential for another future for him.
“His goal is to try to play pro, but at the same time he’s very enthusiastic about helping others with the game. So his path could go playing pro for two years or so, then become a coach at some point,” Hernandez said.