Riga, the capital of Latvia, is just under 5,000 miles away from Springfield and has a population of 632,000. Martina Rubina, one of the staples of Missouri State’s women’s tennis program hails from that city.
Rubina is one of six inductees into the 2020 MSU Athletics Hall of Fame, and with the records she holds, it was only a matter of time.
Rubina was the No. 1 player for the Bears when they claimed the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in 2002 and 2003. MSU also collected a runner-up finish in 2004 with Rubina at the top of the squad.
Rubina credits former head coach Jim Giachino for getting her to Missouri State.
“The choice was my coach at the time — the way he recruited us and took care of us,” Rubina said. “I would consider him more as a mentor than as a coach because he taught us so much. He was just amazing.”
Rubina’s resume speaks for itself. Her all-time singles record (91-41) is the best in program history. Thirty of those singles wins came her freshman year, which was the second best single-season win total in Bears history. Rubina made her mark during doubles competition as well, finishing 10th in all-time doubles victories at 53-51.
In speaking about her recent induction, Rubina kept it simple.
“I’m very honored and thankful,” she said. It’s amazing that people still remember. I mean, I graduated 15 years ago.”
Rubina had plenty of memorable moments throughout her time in the maroon and white, but none meant more than just being around her teammates.
“Lots of memories, not only games but even the off-season just working out together or riding with all the girls in the van,” Rubina said.
Rubina was a part of the 45th class inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame.