Owls rebound in defeat of Lehigh

After losing two to Penn and Georgetown this past Saturday, the Owls rebounded with a victory against Lehigh, 5-2.

In singles, juniors Nicolas Paulus (6-4, 6-2), Hicham Belkssir (6-3, 6-2) and Santiago Canete (3-6, 6-2, 6-2) led the team with strong performances. Sophomores Vineet Naran (6-4, 6-2) and Filip Stipcic, who won in 7-6 (2), 6-2, each took singles points to help the Owls gain control of the match.

“Santiago played really well today, even though he was under the weather,” coach Steve Mauro said. “After losing the first set, he won the next two sets pretty convincingly and I was happy with how he performed. Everyone else played really solid, and I was happy with how we came back from back-to-back losses.”

In doubles, the Owls struggled and Mauro said that he was unhappy with the team’s effort on the court.

“I was disappointed that we lost the doubles point,” Mauro said. “I don’t know what happened, but to me it looked like the guys weren’t ready for the match and were tired. The guys didn’t look up for the match.”

After losing the double point because his team was not ready, Mauro had to get his team back in the right mindset.

“After doubles we had to talk about showing more emotion in these matches because I though we were definitely the better doubles team today,” Mauro said. “I hope the guys learn not to take any team for granted in singles or doubles. We need come out with a lot more energy in our matches.”

With his win in singles today, Paulus now has 48 career victories, fifth all-time since 2001. He is four wins away from passing current graduate-assistant coach Kacper Rams for fourth all-time on that list.

The Owls (10-8, 0-2 American Athletic Conference) will have three days off before playing one of the most important matches of the season, as they host conference rival Connecticut on March 28.

-Dalton Balthaser