Men’s tennis blanked by Navy

The Owls traveled across the Pennsylvania state border to Maryland and were swept by Navy, 7-0, on Saturday.

The Owls only won one match in nine contests. The only victory came from juniors Nicolas Paulus and Hicham Belkssir in the first flight doubles match.

Tough competition has caused the Owls some trouble this season. They only have one conference win and are winless against nationally ranked opponents.

Navy controlled the match from the beginning by securing the doubles point in two matches with respective scores of 6-3 and 6-4. The Midshipmen also won three out of the six singles matches in straight sets.

Owls coach Steve Mauro said his team was unable to play the aggressive style that it’s accustomed to. In Saturday’s match, Mauro said his team had to play a more conservative style, trying to just keep balls in play.

The weather played an important part in the match Saturday as both teams played sloppy tennis.

“The wind played a huge factor in the match today,” Mauro said. “Because we haven’t been able to play that much outside hurt us because we were not used to the wind conditions. The official told me that the wind was blowing at about 20 miles per hour … it was like we were playing on a different surface.”

The Owls lost all three third-set tiebreakers to fall on the wrong side of those singles matches. This season, the team has struggled to win those all-important tiebreakers and win close matches.

Mauro said both teams were just trying to get the balls over the net through the gusty conditions. He also said that he is looking forward to the team’s remaining games, which will all be at home.

The Owls (11-9, 1-2 American Athletic Conference) will have three days off before hosting a doubleheader at the Student Pavilion on April 8 against Coppin State at 11 a.m. and Rider at 3 p.m.

-Dalton Balthaser

Owls end trip with sweep of Murray State

The men’s tennis team has traveled a total of 1,548 miles over the past two weekends, as it journeyed 540 miles to Ohio last weekend and 1,008 miles to Tennessee this weekend.

Despite being shut out Friday by conference opponent Memphis, the Owls responded by blanking the Racers Saturday, 7-0.

Temple won each of its matches in straight sets, controlling each from the beginning.

Coach Steve Mauro said he was happy with how his team responded after a 7-0 defeat to Memphis Friday. He also said that the team got used to the environment and played better.

Juniors Santiago Canete (6-2, 6-2), Nicolas Paulus (6-2, 6-1), Hicham Belkssir (6-4, 6-1) and Ian Glessing (6-0, 6-1) each won their matches easily. Sophomores Filip Stipcic (6-2, 6-1) and Vineet Naran (6-3, 6-3) contributed singles points to the effort, as well.

The doubles pairings made quick work of the Racers to secure the doubles point, which the team struggled to get against Memphis.

“In singles and doubles the guys played well,” Mauro said. “The guys didn’t lose a set and were more focused. We didn’t make as many mistakes in the match today … this was a solid win for us.”

Throughout the course of the season, the Owls have seen its share of inconsistencies in its on-court performances.

Mauro said that traveling a lot can take its toll on his players. He said that the inconsistent play could be attributed to these trips. After traveling for long periods of time, Mauro said the team takes a match to get warmed up and used to the new environment.

“Traveling is part of college tennis and every team has to do it,” Mauro said. “We just grind [traveling] out and do our best.”

The Owls (6-5, 0-1 American Athletic Conference) will travel to conference opponent East Carolina on March 4.

-Dalton Balthaser

Men’s team opens season this weekend

The men’s tennis team will head south to Annapolis, Md. this weekend to open up its fall season at the Navy Invitational.

University of Delaware, St. Bonaventure and Navy are the teams the young Temple quad will be competing against in the three day tournament.

The first opponent Temple will be playing is St. Bonaventure on Friday at 11 a.m. On Saturday, Temple will face Delaware at 2 p.m and on Sunday, Temple will close out the tournament against Navy at 2 p.m, who will be Temple’s toughest opponent with a record of 17-12 last season.

According to coach Steve Mauro, all eight players will be playing both singles and doubles matches over the course of the tournament.

The team will be leaving early Friday morning.

Women’s tennis opens season at VCU 4+1 Invite

The women’s tennis team will be heading to Richmond, Va. this weekend for their first competition of the spring season.

The other competing schools at the VCU 4+1 Invitational are Campbell, Morgan State, and the host, Virginia Commonwealth University. The Owls will play Campbell on Saturday at 11 a.m., VCU on Saturday at 3 p.m., and Morgan State on Sunday at 11 a.m.

The toughest test will be against the Rams, who are currently ranked 46th in the nation. Even though VCU and Temple are in the same conference this year, this will be their only match-up this season. They also met last season, and the Owls lost 1-6.

Each match consists of four singles and two doubles matches, all played at the same time. Despite the tournament setting, these matches will count towards the team’s record.

Coach Steve Mauro said seven or eight of the nine players on the roster will go to the tournament. Mauro expects to win two of the three matches this weekend.

Evan Cross

Men’s tennis ready for city scrimmage

The men’s tennis team will be playing downtown this weekend at the Drexel Invitational.

The Owls and the Dragons will be the only teams there. There were originally going to be more teams competing, but they all dropped out, so Temple and Drexel will scrimmage each other to prepare for next weekend’s ITA Regional Championship in Charlottesville, Va.

Coach Steve Mauro says that Drexel has improved from last year and will be a good warm up for the ITAs.

The two Philadelphia squads will begin on Friday morning with doubles play, with singles play directly following and extending into Saturday. Mauro said that he has not decided on the doubles pairings yet, but they will likely be different than the pairings at the Penn Invitational.

Those pairings were senior Kacper Rams and sophomore Kristian Marquart, sophomore Hernan Vasconez and freshman Nicolas Paulus, and freshman Hicham Belkssir and freshman Maros Januvka.

-Evan Cross