Taylor Albrecht, FAU’s only upperclassman, is guiding the Owls to a strong start.

Michelle Simon

FAU men’s tennis team won its first five home matches, led by junior Taylor Albrecht, who was the Sun Belt Conference’s “Men’s Tennis Player of the Week.” Photo courtesy of FAU Athletics

Taylor Albrecht almost became a soccer player. He grew up playing the sport, even winning a district championship in high school. Luckily for FAU, though, after high school, Albrecht turned in his cleats for a tennis racket and never looked back.

Albrecht, a junior transfer from the University of North Florida, and the only upperclassman on the FAU squad with six freshmen, is leading the way for the 6-2 Owls — he’s won nine of his last 10 matches.

He ultimately chose tennis because, in his opinion, it was the most physically challenging sport. And as the only upperclassman on a team with six freshman, Albrecht has embraced being a leader.

“He gives me advice mentally and what to do in tough situations like [to] figure things out that maybe I’m unsure of and what I can improve on,” teammate Robert Dubuque said. “The whole team experience, none of us have really gone through that here, so he gives us a lot of insight on what to do, how to prepare for what’s coming up.”

His daily inspiration for leadership comes from Christ, he says, something his mother taught him from an early age.

“I grew up in a Christian home, so my mom made sure that I stick to my beliefs,” Albrecht said. “Jesus is a big influence on me. Living the right way. Doing the right things.”

And his confidence is a major reason why head coach Brandon Stokes orginally recruited him.

“He’s cocky on the court and I want a guy like that,” Stokes said. “The thing that we share is a competitive fire. He is the oldest guy on the team and he is supposed to be the most mature one off the court and help keep everybody going.”

Although to the 21-year-old business accounting major, the joy of winning makes all the practice time and training worth it.

“The feeling you get after you win because you know you did it,” Albrecht said. “Not only as your teammates are cheering you on but because you accomplished something that you worked so hard for, which is to try and win.”