Courtesy of Elizabeth Zanghi Alex Derienzo was the top singles player for Fordham as a sophomore, and is the captain of this year’s squad.
The Fordham Ram: What brought you here to Fordham?
Alex DeRienzo: Well, I grew up in Queens and I played tennis all my life. Basically, when I decided to go to school I wanted to stay in New York and Fordham was the best school that I wanted to go to. I loved the campus here and I got recruited by the old coach Bob Hawthorn.
TFR: You’ve played for three different coaches. Can you talk about their differences and what that has been like?
AD: I have definitely seen three very different coaching styles. For Bob, it was towards the end of his career, and the team was not very serious. We were at a lower level. Once we got the new coach Cory [Hubbard] he recruited a lot of good guys, I moved from first position to like fifth or sixth and we got a lot better. Unfortunately, this year with the new coach Mickey [Bzrov] we have had a lot of bad injuries. Kuba [Kowalski] and Mischa [Koran] have been out and we lost Emilio [Mora]. It has been rough because of all the ranked teams on our schedule. We have had a really big challenge and we were not prepared for that.
TFR: You won 10 matches your freshman year, but have been going down in the lineup since then. Has that been difficult for you?
AD: I mean, I am a team player so I do not really mind where I play. I think my sophomore year I might have picked up eight wins and that still isn’t as many as I feel like I could have had. I don’t really mind where I am in the lineup, I’m just the captain on the team and I see myself as a leader to these younger guys.
TFR: With only three seniors on the team is leadership very important to you?
AD: Yeah, it’s important to me and to Ben [Kelly] who’s been on the team since I got here. It’s a lot more important to me that I’m a leader to these guys. Regardless of where I play in the lineup I’d rather see the team win.
TFR: Do you have a favorite memory from four years of tennis?
AD: Oh man. We have had a lot of close matches here. Whenever there is a 3-3 score in the match and there is just one of our guys left and it gets very close, those are always very competitive. We have won a few of those. Last week with Jan [Krouham] was very intense and those matches are always very rewarding.
TFR: Do you have any plans for after graduation?
AD: As of right now, I plan on attending grad school for taxation. I’m an accounting major. After that, hopefully just getting a job.