Sports

After an 0-8 start, a winning record

The men’s tennis team will head into the conference tournament having won 11 of its final 13 matches.

Laughs, smiles and fist pumps were going all around at the Student Pavilion.

On Sunday, the men’s tennis team defeated Rider 7-0.  The team has been increasingly consistent through the second half of the season, leading up to next weekend’s American Athletic Conference tournament.   While the Owls will look to keep the hot play going into the tournament, Sunday allowed  the Owls to reflect on what ended up being a winning regular season as Temple finished 11-10.

“It feels great,” coach Steve Mauro said.  “After that slow start guys continued to work hard and we’ve just been playing real solid tennis so I think it’s great that we finish on a positive note.”

Mauro placed freshmen Vineet Naran and sophomore Maros Januvka into the singles lineup Sunday as a way of experimenting against a team Temple was expected to beat.

“It was good that everyone got a chance to play and we got the ‘W,’” Mauro added.

Temple started the match winning the doubles point.  Mauro has been harping on the need for improved doubles play even during the second half of the season.  But weekend victories against Bucknell and Rider in which Temple won the doubles point in both matches had Mauro feeling better about the doubles play.

“I think we just went into the doubles relaxed without any pressure and we came out with the win,” Mauro said.

“I think it’s pretty important,” Mauro added.  “I think if we can get the doubles point early on [in the conference tournament matches] we have a chance.”

The American Athletic Conference tournament begins on Thursday in Memphis, Tenn.

Greg Frank can be reached at greg.frank@Temple.edu or on Twitter @g_frank6.

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