Sophomore tennis player Taylor Hairston seeks to develop in his second year.
Sophomore tennis player Taylor Hairston standing at 5’8” and weighing in at 155 pounds is the most athletic player on the team said coach Steve Mauro.
Senior team captain Filip Rams and his brother junior Kacper Rams both agreed that Hairston is very athletic and talented.
Hairston decided to pursue tennis in his youth even though basketball and football were his favorite sports. He decided to forgo a career in the former sports because he thought basketball was too time consuming and he would be too injury prone if he played football.
It seemed to work out well for him as he thrived at tennis is Bullis High School, a private school located in Washington. His high school was ranked third in the nation as Hairston was offered a scholarship to play tennis for the Owls.
“I had a pretty good high school team,” Hairston said. “I had a bunch of good kids to compete against and good coaches who taught me well.”
Hairston who was born and raised in D.C., decided to come to Temple because of the location and he said he felt like Temple would be a perfect fit for him.
Hairston added that he is working very hard on improving his work habits and that being athletically gifted is not enough if one wants to succeed in the collegiate sport.
“That is my problem right now,” Hairston said. “I do not really work that hard, but I am working on it.”
Hairston has shown much improvement this fall, as he finished first at the Navy Blue Invite. Mauro said he believes this year will be a breakout year for Hairston.
“Taylor is probably the most talented player on this team,” Mauro said. “He could be as good as he wants to. He has all the weapons and he is extremely athletic.”
Hairston has said that he learned a lot from his freshman year. He not only had to transition quickly to the collegiate level, but he was and is the only American on the roster for the Owls.
“My first year here was a big adjustment for me,” Hairston said. “There was not a lot of American kids on the team, so it was really hard on me.”
When asked if he ever had thoughts of quitting because of his inability to communicate with his teammates, Hairston said that he never thought of quitting on his team, but the transition was challenging.
“I am glad I did not give up,” Hairston said. “These guys are a really good group of guys. I am not really good with change so when I first got here it was my lowest point, but after time went on everything changed.”
The Owls are glad that Hairston has built a bond with his teammates as he will play an integral part in the Owls pursuit of winning the Atlantic-Ten Conference division title.
Hairston is majoring in finance and aspires to become an accountant one day. He has no future plans to play professionally.
Brian Kim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.