At 46, Age Not Holding Back York’s Moczulski

It's a key conference match against Hunter College, and Andrzej Moczulski, the #4 singles player on the York College men’s tennis team, is in a tight match when a ball that appears to be out is called in by the official.

When Moczulski disputes the call, the official responds by saying, “I’ve been doing this for 20 years. I think I know what I’m doing.”  Moczulski then offers a witty rebuttal…

“I’ve been doing this for longer!”

At age 46, Moczulski might be the only college tennis player in the country who could make that claim.

Moczulski came to York over two years ago due to concerns about his career prospects.  He is a registered nurse but never got a bachelor’s degree in nursing.  Even with years of experience and a previous college degree, many hospitals are no longer hiring nurses without a bachelor’s degree in nursing.  Therefore, he needed to come back to school to ensure his long-term financial stability.

York College proved to be the right fit for him. “York was convenient for me. I live in Queens and it made it easier to coordinate my other responsibilities,” noted Andrzej. “Plus as a CUNY school, it’s a lot less expensive than a private school, which is a great advantage too.”

But tennis was never in the plan during his time at York.  In fact, he hadn’t played competitively since he was a teenager.  Born in Poland, he picked up tennis while playing there at his high school. But when he came to the United States in 1990, he stopped playing and instead, he started a career in the automotive industry.  He eventually transitioned to the medical field, working as a radiologist before becoming a registered nurse.

During this time, he rarely picked up a tennis racket.  Then last summer, he took a course in tennis at York.  That experience renewed his love for the game and he decided to try college tennis in the spring.

“I didn’t know if I was in shape or if I was good enough to play at this level but it turned out I was,” said Moczulski.

But work and school are far from the only responsibilities on his plate.  He is married and has two children, ages 11 and 13.  Yet somehow he manages to find time to be a successful student, a father and a nurse, all while being one of the top players on the Cardinals’ tennis team.

“I sacrifice a lot of sleep and my wife and I divide responsibilities,” explained Andrzej.  “Somehow we manage to do it.  I’m happy I’m finishing now because I’m not sure how much longer I could keep it up!”

Moczulski isn’t just competing in collegiate tennis—he is thriving.  With a 9-2 singles mark, he has the best record on the team.   And he’s gotten stronger as the season has gone on, winning his last seven matches.  In addition, during the week ending April 14, he was honored as the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Rookie of the Week.

The “rookie” routinely finds himself matched up against opponents more than half his age.  Just about all of them are faster and more agile. Though he doesn’t have the physical capabilities he once had, Moczulski doesn’t always see his age as a disadvantage.

“The mental part of tennis is a bigger part of tennis than the physical,” noted Moczulski.  “Obviously, having the limitations of age and lack of speed is the negative part but I make up the gap by playing smarter and being cooler on the court.  These young guys get upset and they start cursing and throwing rackets.  I know if I’m not doing well, I make adjustments and get a better result.  They don’t see it this way.  You’re wiser with age.”

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they will only benefit from Moczulski’s outstanding play for one season.  He will be earning his degree in nursing this year. But his brief time as a collegiate tennis player is something he will cherish.

“This is a fabulous experience for me. I’ve had so much fun,” added Moczulski.  “The guys on the team are great, and I was accepted nicely and I’m really happy I did it. It gives me the feeling of being young again. “

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