It was a seamless transition for Filip Stipcic, a freshman on the men’s tennis team from Serbia. Along with Vineet Naran, Stipcic is new to the Owls, but seems to be fitting in with the rest of the team.
“Everything is fine, they accepted me very well and I have a good relationship with everyone,” Stipcic said.
Stipcic said that he’s playing the game he loves and while he’s at Temple, nothing has really changed.
“Tennis is everywhere,” Stipcic said. “In Serbia, it’s the same. I’m going to play however I was playing in Serbia.”
It wasn’t just tennis that made Stipcic choose Temple. Coach Steve Mauro said that Stipcic took an English class at University of Pennsylvania which he believes has helped in the adjustment.
“He kind of knows now how to go about doing things in the United States,” Mauro said.
Stipcic also noted academics as a reason he decided to come to Temple.
“Temple is a very good business school and I wanted to get a great education and I could also play tennis here,” Stipcic said.
Anais Nussame is one of the new players on the women’s side, along with Dina Karina. Much like Stipcic, Nussame spoke highly of the business school when asked why she came to Temple.
“I came on a visit and really liked it,” Nussame said. “It’s also a really good business school so I guess that’s why I came here.”
Nussame is also from outside the United States, having grown up in Thailand.
“There have been ups and downs and I miss home but everyone has helped me to make it easy,” Nussame said. “I made a lot of effort to be really involved with the team. I always went to talk to teammates. We all get along. I don’t feel like I’m a freshman.”
Nussame also pointed to the demeanor of Mauro as a reason she wanted to come to Temple.
“I talked to [Mauro] over the phone and he was nice and I feel like he was being really honest about what was going on at Temple,” Nussame said.
Mauro said he felt Nussame had a good personality and sensed that she would fit in well.
“When we recruited her on her recruiting visit we could tell she was a nice girl,” Mauro said. “She just had this energetic manner about herself that rubs off on you.”
The other freshman player on the women’s team, Dina Karina, was battling injuries in the fall and did not play a match. Mauro said Karina was plagued by ankle and foot problems as well as dealing with food poisoning and the flu. But Karina is healthy now and ready to go.
“I think she’s got to work her way into the doubles lineup right now,” Mauro said. “I could definitely see her in the singles lineup. If she continues to work and remain injury free I think she’ll be a top player for us.”
Mauro also had good things to say about Naran.
“He works real hard on his game,” Mauro said. “He’s a pleasure to have on the team. Since the fall his game is improving and we’re hoping for him to be in the lineup. I think he has great potential,” Mauro said.
Greg Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @g_frank6.