After defeating Coppin State University sophomore Gabriel Franca on Tuesday, Nicolas Paulus continued his climb up the record books.
With the victory, Paulus totaled his 66th all-time singles win as an Owl, which ranks second in singles since 2001, trailing Filip Rams’ 75 wins.
“You don’t come here to lose, obviously,” Paulus said. “So you wanna leave a mark, you wanna leave something that’s going to be remembered. You want people to remember you.”
During his freshman year, the Rheinau, Germany native led the Owls with 15 singles wins. He also finished the season by winning seven of his last nine matches.
Following his freshman campaign, Paulus posted 19 and 18 singles wins as a sophomore and junior, respectively.
This season, Paulus is 16-14 with three matches left in the regular season.
Paulus also joins Rams, Mansur Gishkaev and Kacper Rams as Owls who have posted 15-or-more wins in three different seasons since 2008-09.
Rams captured 23, 18 and 23 wins during his tenure as an Owl, while Gishkaev racked up 16, 17 and 18 wins. Kacper Rams posted wins of 16 or more three times during his career at Temple.
“All year I saw him playing aggressive, and I think that’s what helped him,” freshman Artem Kapshuk said. “I saw a lot of matches when he was down first set against good opponents, and then he came back in the second set. So he’s a real fighter.”
Coach Steve Mauro said Paulus’ strength is his ability to rebound after losing a set, which the coach said was on display on Feb. 13 against East Carolina when Paulus lost his first set 6-2 and rebounded by winning the next two sets 6-2, 7-6 to win the match.
“If Nick loses the first set, in his mind he still knows that he can win the second set,” Mauro said. “A lot of players they lose the first set and all of the sudden they get down and they don’t have any chance. No matter what the score [is], he’s a fighter on the court. It’s a great attribute that he has.”
Paulus also ranks tied for seventh all-time in doubles wins amongst Owls since 2001 with senior Santiago Canete with 40 wins. His highest win totals occurred during his sophomore and junior years where he posted 15 and 12 wins alongside Canete and senior Hicham Belkssir.
As a duo, Belkssir and Paulus have combined for 22 of Paulus’ 40 career victories during his career at Temple.
“We understood each other on the court,” Belkssir said. “He’s a great baseline player. That really helped me a lot. He was making balls and I’m moving into volley.”
Even with all the success on the court, Paulus said his goal this season is to have more success in the American Athletic Conference tournament.
When the Owls were in the Atlantic 10 Conference during the 2012-13 season, they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The Owls are 1-2 since the 2013-14 season in The American’s conference tournament.
In the 2013-14 tournament they were knocked out by the University of Louisville, 4-0. Last season, they beat Connecticut 4-0 and then lost to South Florida in the second round in 2014-15.
Paulus is 1-3 in doubles during conference tournaments and 3-2 in singles.
“I don’t necessarily think that you gain something from being better than your teammates because in the end it comes down to the team wins,” Paulus said. “You’re not going to be measured in how good your singles record is, you’re going to be remembered as how good your team record is.”
Thomas Ignudo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Ignudo5.