Zach and Josh Hublitz have relied on each over the years and used the game of tennis to help guide their path to UNCW, where the two siblings spent this season on the men’s team.
Zach, a senior, is completing his degree in accounting, while Josh, a freshman, is leaning toward a business degree.
Tennis runs deep in the Hublitz family. Both of their parents played at George Washington University. Their father, Marty, went on to compete on the professional circuit for a time, before accepting a position as men’s tennis coach for the Colonials.
By age three, both brothers had begun playing tennis, beginning in their basement with a foam ball. They soon graduated to a small net in the garage. As children, the brothers were extremely competitive with each other, arguing constantly. As they grew older they matured and are now each other’s biggest supporters.
Marty Hublitz coached the boys throughout their career, even in high school. When Zach entered the Potomac School, Marty began helping out with the team and eventually became head coach at the school.
“It was cool having our dad as our high school coach,” said Josh Hublitz. “It felt very normal and comfortable.”
While the brothers both grew up being coached by their father, their playing styles are quite different. Zach prefers to operate with longer rallies, positioning himself deep behind the baseline in a war of attrition style of play similar to tennis great Rafael Nadal. Josh, on the other hand, prefers an aggressive style, enjoying shorter rallies and charging the net in shorter points.
“While their styles are different, their mental attitudes are very similar,” said UNCW Tennis Coach Mait Dubois. “They value practice, are extremely competitive and are very supportive of each other.”
Zach has amassed a strong singles record of 33-19 throughout his career, including a win in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament during his sophomore campaign. With the end of Zach’s career looming, it could soon be Josh’s time to shine.
“Josh is a very talented player and we look forward to seeing what he can do next year,” said Dubois. “He has had lots of success in doubles and singles, and we expect to see him in both next year.”
Josh has high hopes for his career. Out of The Potomac School he was deemed a four-star recruit by TennisRecruiting.net. Last summer, he sustained a stress fracture in his lower back and tried to come back a little too soon this season so he ended up red shirting to save a year of eligibility. During his extended recovery time, Josh became a proficient guitar player.
As a senior on this year’s team, Zach learned what it means to become a lead and the responsibilities that come with being a captain.
“Coach Dubois has helped me be a leader and captain this year,” said Zach Hublitz. “He likened being a captain to being on an airplane in turbulence. If the flight attendants don’t remain calm, the passengers will begin to lose it. It’s the job of the captain to remain cool and collected, to lead by example, especially in a time of crisis.”
Zach hopes to leave a strong legacy at UNCW as he prepares to leave.
“I want to be remembered as a fighter, giving 110 percent everyday, and being someone that can always be counted on to come through in matches,” said Zach.
Zach is set graduate during spring 2015 commencement ceremonies next week and will be studying for his CPA exam. In the fall 2016, he begins his career at Ernst and Young in Los Angeles.
“We had a little taste of being on the same team in high school,” said Zach. “It’s been fun to lead him and to be an example for him.”
Josh said his brother really helped him become part of the team and not get lost with his injury. He feels fortunate to have had an opportunity to look up to him as a brother and a leader.
“Zach has made it an easy transition to college life and we spend a ton of time together,” Josh said. “The rest of the team are my brothers, so it won’t be a difficult transition next year when he isn’t playing.”
The Seahawks, ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association throughout the season, suffered a defeat in the semifinals of this year’s CAA Championships, denying them their fifth conference title in seven years.