From Sweden to Richmond, a friendship lasts on the court

Senior Arvid Noren was named All A-10 First Team last season. Photo by Jon Mirador

Nile McNair, Contributing Writer

Senior Arvid Noren has played a crucial role in Men’s Tennis’ three straight Atlantic 10 conference titles.

Like all of his fellow teammates, Noren is not from the U.S. He made his way to Richmond from Piteå, Sweden.

“A small little town in the north of Sweden, with about 40,000 people,” Noren said of his hometown. “And right now, we have about seven feet of snow.”

After leaving Piteå at 16, Noren attended Akademi Båstad Gymnasium in Båstad, Sweden with his current teammate and now best friend, senior Philip Mobius. The relationship Noren developed with Mobius is the reason he ended up at VCU.

Paul Kostin, director of Tennis and former Men’s Tennis coach, knew Mobius’ father, who played in college. Since Kostin is also Swedish, it was an easy decision for both Noren and Mobius to come to VCU after Kostin’s recruitment.

“I’ve known Philip [Mobius] since I was 15, and we’ve been best friends since. We lived together in Sweden, we came to VCU together,” Noren said. “We did this whole journey together, so it feels good to graduate with him.”

Noren played multiple sports growing up in Sweden, including track and field, soccer and golf. But he decided to stick with the sport he played best.

“I choose tennis because I used to go with my mom when she played tennis matches against her friends when I was about 7,” Noren said.

In college, Noren has seen the differences between European and American tennis play.

“In Europe, it’s more of an individual sport,” Noren said. “But here, you play as a team. People are screaming, and it’s more of a mental game here.”

As the regular season comes to a close, Men’s Tennis is looking to capture its fourth straight Atlantic 10 Championship title.  

“We’re going to be first seed, so I guess we’re going to be the favorites heading in there,” Noren said. “We should have a good chance because we worked a lot on fitness and conditioning this year.”

Noren’s favorite memory from playing at VCU was playing in the NCAA Tournament in New York.

“Playing in the NCAA tournament at the U.S. Open facility and just traveling around the country is very interesting to me,” he said. “Since you get a chance to learn about different cultures.”

Looking beyond his May graduation, the business and finance major is prepared for what comes next. He recently applied for an extended visa.

“I’m applying for jobs,” Noren said. “I have offers, but I just don’t know which one to take. But for sure I’m going to stay here and work.”

Since the team’s 10 members all hail from outside the U.S., Noren said, Men’s Tennis is a tight-knit group. The team has also made record-breaking academic accomplishments.

“Last semester our tennis team had the highest team GPA in VCU history,” Noren said. “We finished with a 3.82 GPA average. So we’re getting things done in the classroom and on the tennis court.”


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