Puetz is currently ranked with partner sophomore Alex Stamchev as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association No. 1 doubles team in the country.
Puetz is glad he came all this way to live on The Plains.
“I love Auburn,” Puetz said. “I like the town. I like the school. It’s a big school. Academics are good; the sports are good. It’s good to play in the SEC; it’s one of the nation’s strongest conferences for tennis.” So far, Puetz has been no stranger to awards in his collegiate career. In addition to being named The Plainsman’s Athlete of the Week, he has also gathered several other honors, including All-SEC second team, the All-SEC freshman team and a sophomore All-American. Puetz has been playing tennis since he was 2 years old. “I started playing tennis with my grandpa,” Pulets said. “We played with plastic rackets and a soft bass. As soon as I was able to hold a normal racket I started playing, and I haven’t gotten tired of it, not so far.”
A captain this year, Puetz has taken a leadership role as he steps into his third season. “He is definitely a leader,” Stamchev said. “He does a great job as a captain. He helps with the freshmen a lot.”
Head coach Eric Shore said Puetz leads by example and can be vocal when he needs to be.
Shore, Auburn’s all-time winningest men’s tennis coach, says the whole team respects Puetz for his leadership and believes that Puetz can do great things for the team this year.
“I honestly think he’s capable of winning the NCAA championship in singles and doubles if he wants to put in the time and effort because he’s a good enough player to do it,” Shore said. “He’s very gifted, he’s got great natural ability and he can do a lot of different things. He’s not one dimensional; he’s quick he can stay back and grind with you from the back of the court. He’s got all the tools and he’s a smart player.”
Puetz also has NCAA’s in mind.
“I would like to make the Sweet 16 with the team,” Puetz said. “Apart from that my goals include getting to the NCAA Tournament in singles and doubles.”
Shore added that Puetz’s ability to handle pressure is something else to note.
Once his four years as an Auburn athlete are over, Puetz plans to continue his hot streak, even if it is not playing tennis professionally.
“I’m hoping to figure out what I want to do (after graduating) in the next year and a half,” Puetz said. “Going to play tennis as a professional is an option, but it’s a tough life. No matter what, I’m not going to stop playing tennis entirely.”
The Auburn Men’s Tennis team will travel to Tulsa, Okla., Sunday to take on Tulsa.