Sophomore pair sparks women’s tennis team.
Sophomores Yana Mavrina and Alicia Doms have come from across the globe to give the women’s tennis team one of the best up and coming doubles partners in the Atlantic Ten Conference.
Mavrina and Doms traveled to North Broad from Yaroslavl, Russia and Barcelona, Spain, respectively, and were unleashed on the court immediately as freshmen making an instant impact at the Division-I level.
“[Mavrina] has a lot of energy and when I play with her I get motivated,” Doms said. “I’m quiet on the court so it makes me play better. When you play with someone who has a lot of energy, it helps you a lot, so I think that is the most important thing.”
The duo bolstered the Owls with an overall team-best 17 wins in doubles play, finished at 10-2 at the No. 3 slot and ended the 2011 campaign with five straight wins.
Much of the success didn’t come as a surprise to coach Steve Mauro, who realized from the get go that these two women had all of the possibilities of dominating the competition as a one-two punch.
“They both complement one another,” Mauro said. “[Mavrina] was good at setting up [Doms], and [Doms] has very good hands up at the net, which is why they work so well together.”
Temple was picked to finish second in the preseason A-10 poll for this season. After falling to their first three opponents, Princeton, Cornell and Massachusetts, the Owls won their first match against Duquesne at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Center in Philadelphia last Saturday.
So far the Mavrina and Doms have yet to post a win in doubles play this season, coming up short in a 8-4 loss to Princeton on Feb. 1 and falling 8-5 to Cornell on Feb. 5. Doms sat out the Duquesne match with an injury, but expects to return next week.
Mauro had to go above and beyond to reel in Mavrina and Doms, and with his recruiting experience, the seven-year coach has found two young gems with potential.
“I’ve been in this business a very long time so I have contacts all around the world,” Mauro said. “I knew someone at a tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain and that is where I found [Doms]. [Mavrina] actually contacted me through an agency and I looked at video and knew she was a very good player.”
The scoring for doubles play differentiates from singles, as just one set is played. The first doubles team to reach eight wins in that particular set, instead of six in singles, receives the victory.
“It’s a really fast pace game,” Doms said. “You have to be really focused because everything goes really fast. You can be losing and it’s very tough to change the score so you have to keep your energy up at all times.”
While Mavrina and Doms have seen success playing together, both players prefer singles competition to doubles play. On the year, Mavrina is 2-1 in singles play this year, while Doms has posted a 0-2 record in singles competitions.
“In Spain you don’t play a lot of doubles. When I came here I didn’t like it at all but in the fall, coach [Mauro] told me that soon enough I would be No. 1 in doubles,” Doms said. “I started to practice a lot of volleys and serves and now I really like to play doubles.”
Chase Senior can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.