Madison West's Lungova shares journey from the Czech Republic to - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison West's Lungova shares journey from the Czech Republic to Wisconsin

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MADISON, Wis. (WKOW) -- Life can be hard for some high school freshmen. Most of us have been through it: the new school, the new class schedule, the scary upperclassmen. But imagine having to learn all of those things, plus a new language and a new culture. 

Three years ago, Karolina Lungova was a freshman at Madison West High School.
Amid all the worries that comes with entering high school, Karolina had one additional challenge to face. 

"I was scared because I didn't know any English at all. I was scared that I wasn't going to make any friends."

Born in the Czech Republic, Karolina moved to the United States in the summer of 2013, after her mom accepted a job with UW. 
That August, she tried out for the Regents girls tennis team.

Her head coach, Kyle Goodman, remembers it clearly. 

"She came to tryouts and was just out there blasting balls. And I was like, "Okay. The girl can definitely play."

She made Varsity her first year, one of only two freshman to do so. 

By her sophomore year, Karolina hit a turning point. 

Finally out of ESL, classes designed to help foreign exchange students  better learn English, Karolina was placed in  a normal class schedule where she was fully immersed with native English speakers. 

And on the tennis courts, she went from being the quiet freshman to the Regents top singles player.

"She learned how to construct a point and start having a game plan and sticking to a game plan throughout a match. And that's made a world of difference, " said Goodman.

"I feel like I still have the same style as I had three years ago," added Karolina, "It's just that I'm more consistent."

As her success on the court grew, so did her success in the classroom. Karolina has a 3.9 GPA, excelling in math and science. 

"I'm really proud of it, like, just the three years it took me to like really catch up on everything and just be there with like, others. Even maybe sometimes ahead."

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