New leaders, old faces step up for No. 25 men’s tennis
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Game. Set. Match.
Starting off with an 8-2 record, the ball was in Tulane’s court as the men’s tennis team began its 2017 season.
Fans questioned how the team would be able to replace the former face of Tulane tennis, Dominik Koepfer, who finished his career at Tulane with the second-highest record for all-time wins. He had a combined 171 singles and doubles wins. Despite the fears, life for the team went on in the midst of Koepfer’s absence.
After being tasked with bringing the program back to its former glory prior to Hurricane Katrina, head coach Mark Booras has seen success. This season, however, Booras knew he would be up for a greater challenge.
“I think the most surprising part of our season is how our guys responded after losing three really tough seniors last year,” Booras said. “That includes everybody from our senior class to our freshman class this year.”
Freshman Ewan Moore and sophomore Tyler Schick have stepped up to fill the gaps left by the graduated seniors, and Coach Booras said is thrilled with the results.
“… We needed guys to step up and take new roles and all of them have done that,” Booras said.
Despite the players stepping up, Booras is still looking for more consistency as the team aims to ace the competition.
“I think it would be great to see us improve our consistency in different aspects that we talk about like having the right kind of energy on the court and the right type of focus from our guys,” Booras said.
Winning is not the only goal for Booras and the team: They want to end the 2017 campaign ranked.
“The number one thing is you want to win the conference,” Booras said. “… If you are ranked in the top 16 in the country, you get to host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament at your own facility.”
Booras once again preaches stability and underlines that the right attitude in practice will lead to success on the court.
To attain this success, Booras emphasizes the importance of consistency and a positive attitude not only in matches but also in practice.
“The most important asset to achieve those goals is that level of consistency with being able to compete day in and day out on that high emotional and mental level,” Booras said. “… What we always say to the team is what happens in practice happens in the match, so we really want to create the best atmosphere possible at practice.”
Tulane men’s tennis team will lace up its stark white shoes, put on their sweatbands and take the court Friday against UPenn and Sunday against Middle Tennessee State University.