Temple had been waiting for Sunday’s meeting with Penn State all season.
However, the Owls dropped all three doubles matches to start the matchup with their in-state rival and needed four straight singles wins to pull out the win.
“We had been talking about playing Penn State all year,” coach Steve Mauro said. “I told them after the doubles matches that we needed to go out and get it.”
Sophomore Artem Kapshuk, sophomore Florian Mayer, junior Thomas Sevel and freshman Francisco Bohorquez secured singles victories to take down the Nittany Lions.
The victory came just hours after Penn State had defeated Indiana University, which was ranked No. 45 last week by the International Tennis Federation.. It also marked the first time the men’s tennis team defeated Penn State in program history.
“All of the guys stepped up and played with a lot of resilience to get us that win,” Mauro said.
Temple started its weekend with a 4-3 loss to Georgetown University at home on Friday followed by Sunday’s 4-3 win against Penn State in State College.
The Owls started off Friday’s match by winning the first seeded doubles match. The duo of sophomore Artem Kapshuk and junior Thomas Sevel won by a score of 6-4. However, the second seeded team of senior Vineet Naran and sophomore Florian Mayer and the third seeded team of sophomore Uladzimir Dorash and freshman Francisco Bohorquez lost their matches 6-2 and 6-4, respectively, surrendering two of the three doubles point to Georgetown.
In singles play, the top of the Hoyas lineup was no match for the Owls, as Kapshuk, Mayer and Sevel all recorded sweep victories. The Hoyas’ fourth, fifth and sixth seeded singles players picked up wins to secure Georgetown’s victory.
The Owls were without two of their starters against the Hoyas. Freshmen Eric Biscoveanu was sidelined due to injury for the entire day while Bohorquez was unable to play in singles after playing in his doubles matchup.
“Georgetown was good, but we should’ve won,” coach Steve Mauro said. “I honestly believe if we had our two starters in it’s not a close match.”
The decision to sideline Biscoveanu and Bohorquez was purely precautionary measure by the medical staff. Both were cleared to play against Penn State.
The Owls (14-13, 1-3 American Athletic Conference) have three matches remaining. They play the University of Delaware, Rider University and Lehigh University at home to close out the season.
“Everyone’s spirits are really high right now,” Mauro said. “This group is ready to get it done in the three regular season matches we have left and then in the conference tournament.”
Dan Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @dan_wilson4. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.