German tennis player finding success with Herd after following her father’s footsteps


Parthenon File Photo

Marshall University junior Derya Turhan takes a swing last season during a match at the Huntington Tennis Club.

Marshall University tennis player Derya Turhan is a foreign asset to the program.

The two-time All-Conference USA player traveled from her hometown of Bad Salzuflen, Germany to the United States to exercise her talent.

Turhan said a large inspiration for her interest in tennis stems from her father who was a passionate tennis player, himself.

“I really loved to play soccer,” Turhan said. “But my dad always told me ‘why won’t you try something else.’ He really liked to play tennis. So, I went to a tennis court when I was 10, and I really enjoyed it.”

Turhan started off her collegiate career in Miami, Florida at Barry University. Once transferring to Marshall, her presence has been beneficial to the Herd.

Posting a record of 12-10 in singles her freshman year, Turhan went on to place All-Conference USA as a sophomore the following year.

“She is our number one player,” head coach John Mercer said. “She’s a hard worker. She has improved every year tremendously. It’s just exciting to see her have this success because I know she works hard at it.”

Turhan said she has adapted to American culture and embraces Marshall University. She said she faces frustration, at times, due to being far away from home, but she does not let it affect her performance.

Turhan said she really likes representing the university and the team. She added that she thinks the campus is beautiful.

The junior, who is ranked 99th in the nation in individuals, said she has high expectations for the rest of the season.

“I hope that we win this year as a team,” Turhan said. “And I hope individually I’ll have a ranking. This is my last season, so I hope this is the best season for me.” 

Turnhan and the Herd (3-2) will take on the University of Louisville Cardinals 2:30 p.m. Friday in Louisville, Kentucky.

Danielle Wright can be contacted at [email protected]