Filip and Kacper Rams will compete against 20 of the nation’s Top 100 players at the ITAs.
The Rams brothers, sophomore Filip and freshman Kacper, continue to impress men’s tennis coach Steve Mauro this season, even as rainy weather postponed the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Atlantic Regional Championships in Norfolk, Va., until this weekend.
Both brothers won their singles matches in straight sets back on Oct. 10 in the Lehigh Invitational. Filip Rams defeated Lehigh’s Troy List, 6-2, 6-2, and Kacper Rams downed Lehigh’s Collin Laffey, 6-4, 6-1.
The Owls dropped their other two singles matches. Sophomore Dmitri Vizhunov lost in three sets to Lehigh’s Edgars Rauza, 6-3, 4-6, 10-7, and sophomore Matt King also lost in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 11-9 to Lehigh’s Matt Savran.
The Rams brothers took control in their doubles match against Lehigh, though, beating List and Laffey, 8-1. The team of Vizhunov and King then took down Savran and Rauza, 8-2.
And when Vizhunov and King fell, 8-6, in their doubles match against the University of Delaware’s team of Courtney Scott and Chris Hincker, the Rams brothers came back with a 9-8 (8-6) win against Austin Longacre and Gokay Celik.
Mauro said freshman Kacper Rams’ good play does not surprise him.
“We expected him to play this well,” Mauro said. “We recruited him for over a year, and we were aware of the work ethic of his brother.”
Kacper and Filip Rams will represent Temple at the ITA Championships, which are scheduled to feature 20 players rated in the nation’s Top 100. Both will compete in singles and team up for doubles competition.
The weather delay this week may, in fact, be a blessing in disguise, as Filip Rams is currently nursing a groin injury.
“He would have tried to fight through it, but it could have gotten worse,” Mauro said.
Mauro said he realizes this tournament can be a big opportunity to showcase Filip Rams’ young talent but doesn’t want to have things blown out of proportion.
“We are just looking for a good showing next week,” he said in regards to his expectations.
After the ITA tournament, men’s tennis finishes up its fall slate with a tournament at Cornell University that runs from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Mauro said though his team has been hurt with some injuries this fall, he thinks the season has been successful so far and that the team’s expectations have mostly been met.
“It’s kind of tough to tell,” Mauro said. “We have had a bunch of injuries, but overall, I am very happy with the effort.
“But we need to get healthy and be better conditioned [as we finish up the fall schedule and enter the spring slate],” Mauro said. “We have a lot of young players that are adjusting to college life and the demand of schoolwork.”
Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.