Men’s tennis brothers seek to lead the squad to A-10 glory.
Men’s tennis is searching for a breakout star to be competitive this season.
That player could very well be Owls’ senior Filip Rams. Rams was named the 2010 Atlantic Ten Conference Men’s Tennis Most Outstanding Performer, the first Owl to be given such award since 1995.
“This is what I train for, what I practice for, what I wake up every morning for,” Rams said. “It means a lot being recognized like this.”
Rams, who was recently named team captain, boasts a 47-20 overall record, a 25-12 doubles record, a 22-8 tournament record, and a 5-1 in-conference record.
Coach Steve Mauro said that Rams has progressed as a player and could play professionally one day.
“Rams is probably the hardest working player that I have ever had the pleasure coaching,” Mauro said. “He works very hard and is very talented.”
“That is just who I am,” Rams added. “Anything that I do, I try to do it the best that I can. I always try to reach my goals and the only way I know how to do it is by hard work.”
Rams believes that this team has a shot at winning the A-10 championship. In order for the Owls to do that they will need Rams’ younger brother, Kacper Rams to improve his performance on the court.
Kacper Rams had a 16-12 record overall last year, with a 15-8 doubles record to go along with a 5-2 conference mark. Kacper Rams acknowledged that he did not have a good year last year and that he needs to take his game to a whole new level this season.
“Last year for me was not a very good year,” Kacper Rams said. “I did not perform very well. Right now it is my time to step up and win.”
Kacper Rams said he dedicated his offseason to improving his whole game. He focused particularly on his baseline and match game.
“I feel more confident on the court,” Kacper Rams said. “I know what to do on the court right now more than I did last year.”
When the Rams brothers are partners on the court, they have an edge because they are an international doubles team. During the game they communicate in Polish, so that the other team has no idea what they are saying.
Filip and Kacper Rams’ doubles record currently stands at 18-8. They struggled in their most recent match at the Navy Blue Invite on Sept. 11 where they lost their first doubles match 8-5.
Before Mauro was hired as the men’s tennis coach six years ago, the Owls’ record was 3-22. In his first year as coach, Mauro rejuvenated the Owls by helping them finish with a 17-8 record and place third in the A-10 tournament.
Mauro said that he was able to turn the program around so quickly because of his ability to scout national talent.
“It starts with recruiting,” Mauro said. “I have a lot of connections around the country. I was able to find the right fit for this program here at Temple.”
Mauro has also been able to turnaround this program with limited resources.
“It was very difficult because we only get three scholarships,” Mauro said. “A lot of other schools around the country are fully funded and have four-and-a-half.”
“Also, a lot of the good programs have fully indoor and outdoor facilities, but we basically only have four outdoor courts to practice on and play matches on,” Mauro added. “We have to travel to use other school’s facilities.”
Mauro said that this team has what it takes to win its division and in order for them to do that Kacper Rams needs to have a solid season.
“The player that needs to step up is Kacper Rams,” Mauro said. “He is a key player and should be able to play high in the line up for us.”
“He is an extremely hard worker and had a bunch of injuries last year, but this year will be his best year,” Mauro added.
Mauro was named the coach of the women’s tennis team in 2006 and since then he has had to juggle coaching both teams.
“I work a ton of hours,” Mauro said. “I always go straight to my computer and constantly check emails about recruiting.”
But despite the long hours, Mauro also said that he is ultimately content with his dual coaching job.
“I enjoy both teams,” Mauro said. “It kind of makes it fun doing both teams. Having both teams makes a great college experience for both men and women because they get to interact with one another.”
Brian Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.