Men’s tennis coach Steve Mauro and junior Kacper Rams have one common goal heading into next year’s tennis season, win an Atlantic Ten Conference championship.
This goal though will not be easy to achieve as they lose four seniors from the team that was recently eliminated from the A-10 tournament in the first round by George Washington. Mauro though is upbeat about the talent that he returns and with an All-Conference performer like Rams returning they have the talent to improve on this year’s finish, but it all starts with work in the offseason.
“They need the summer to improve, [Kacper Rams] will be intensively training,” Mauro said. “Hopefully the two freshmen [Kristian Marquart] and [Hernan Vasconez] will see what it takes to win at this level and take their talent to the next level.”
Kacper Rams will presumably have fill the role of no.1 singles player, filling in for his brother and fellow All-Conference performer Filip Rams, who recently finished up his senior campaign. Following Rams though will be a slew of players who have some experience but are very young and raw according to Mauro.
“[Kacper Rams] had one of his best seasons, expect him to get better and be more of a leader,” Mauro said. “We need players like Taylor Hairston to step up though if we want to achieve our goal of an A-10 title.”
Rams said that having to replace the No. 1 singles spot is no easy deed, after playing No. 2 throughout all of his junior year he realizes what needs to be done throughout the summer to have him where he needs to be to play No. 1 singles as a senior.
“I’ll have to improve overall, my whole game,” Rams said. “First I will need to improve my conditioning and physical fitness and then I will try to play some tournaments to try and improve my tennis game, so overall I will work on everything.”
Losing four seniors to graduation is a tough task to overcome, as the men’s tennis team will need to find underclassmen to fill the voids from No. 2 through No.7 singles because Rams is the only player who will be a senior during the 2012-2013. With that many spots to fill, one player is not the answer and it is more of a group effort.
“I think everyone has to step up it’s not just one player because four of the seniors left,” Rams added. “Right now we’re left with four players so all of them have to step up and replace the seniors that left, so I hope each of the players will do their best to get ready for next season.”
Both Rams and Mauro have lofty goals for such a young squad, but with Rams becoming a more of a leader each day anything is possible. They are a long way from becoming a championship team, but have the talent to get there with hard work and for Rams reaching his goals will be no easy task for the future No.1 player.
“We want to try to win the A-10 as a team, that is our ultimate goal,” Rams said. “As an individual I want to have my best record that I’ve had since I’ve been at Temple so every match will be very important because I want my senior year to be my best year.”
With Rams and Mauro leading the underclassmen the future certainly looks bright for the men’s tennis team.
Anthony Bellino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.