Men’s tennis player Artem Kapshuk will trade one “T” for two and transfer to Texas Tech University to play for the Red Raiders. The school’s athletic department announced Tuesday that Kapshuk will join them for the 2017-18 season.
The junior from Kiev, Ukraine is changing schools mostly for academics, said Temple coach Steve Mauro, and will study business management in the Rawls College of Business. He will not have to sit out the 2017-18 campaign, as he will be immediately eligible to play for Texas Tech.
Kapshuk finished his sophomore season as Temple’s top player, posting a 20-7 overall record in singles play. He played all of his matches in the top flight.
In doubles, Kapshuk finished with a 14-10 overall record while going 7-2 when partnered with rising senior Thomas Sevel.
Kapshuk entered last season ranked 17th in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I Atlantic Regional Rankings.
“He did a great job for us,” Maruo said. “On and off the court, he was a great team player so I’m really happy for him.”
Kapshuk will join the nationally ranked Texas Tech team that finished 13-15 overall and 1-4 in the Big 12 Conference last season. He will play under third-year coach Brett Masi, who led Texas Tech to a 28-6 record and a share of its first Big 12 regular-season title in the 2015-16 season.
The Red Raiders began the 2016-17 season as the No. 23 team in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I rankings and finished as No. 32 in the last poll in May. They finished the season with a loss to No. 4 Texas Christian University in the Big 12 tournament final.
Texas Tech knocked off teams like No. 28 Memphis and No. 8 Oklahoma State University. The Red Raiders also beat No. 4 Baylor University in their season finale before beating the Bears again five days later in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament.
While Mauro said Kapshuk may not immediately be the team’s top player, he believes Kapshuk will see playing time for the Red Raiders next season.
“I’m really hoping he does well,” Mauro said. “I think he will make the lineup for doubles, maybe singles.”
Mauro said he assisted Kapshuk with the transfer process. Because of the strength of its business program, Mauro said Texas Tech was Kapshuk’s top choice.
“We actually started working on it midway through the year,” Mauro said. “I helped him out, talked to the coach and gave him a recommendation.”
“Our goal is for the kids to be happy, especially academically,” he added. “That’s our main concern for all of our kids.”
With a hole at the top of the lineup, Mauro said his new additions to the team will help.
Alberto Caceres Casas, a sophomore transfer from Armstrong State University, will play for the Owls next season. Mauro expects him to be a “Top-50 player in the country.”
Temple also added Juan Araoz, a sophomore transfer from Hampton University, and Mark Wallner, an incoming freshman from Germany. Mauro expects all three to be top contributors to the lineup.
Graham Foley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @graham_foley3. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.