Golden Hurricane ends Owls season with shutout loss

Temple fell to second seeded Tulsa 4-0 in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday in Memphis.

The No. 7 seed Owls fell to No. 2 seed Tulsa 4-0 on Thursday in Memphis during the opening round of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

The team ended the year with an overall record of 20-6—tied for the most wins in a season in program history.

The Owls—who were without freshman Uladzimir Dorash due to an upper back injury—were forced to switch up their lineup against Tulsa, coach Steve Mauro said.

“They were all good matches,” Mauro said. “Like I said, it’s kind of tough being shorthanded going into the championships, especially a player like Dorash who helps you both in singles and doubles.”

Dorash is tied with freshman Artem Kapshuk for the most singles wins on the team with 22.

In singles, Kapshuk fell 6-3, 6-3 to Tulsa freshman Majed Kilani, while senior Santiago Canete lost 6-1, 6-1 to junior Or Ram-Harel.

Senior Hichman Belkssir and junior Vineet Naran lost 6-2 to Golden Hurricane senior Matthew Kirby and freshman Okkie Kellerman in first flight doubles.

“It didn’t go our way, but I think we were right there with them,” Mauro said.

Senior Nicolas Paulus, Canete and Belkssir will graduate this year and not return to the team in the fall season.

The seniors made up three of the five Owls this season who recorded 15 or more singles wins.

The Owls went 12-0 at home this season, while they recorded a 3-4 record on the road. They also were 2-2 in the conference and 5-2 at neutral sites.

Regardless of the result in the conference tournament, Mauro said he was very pleased with the way his team played this season.

“I thought we had a great season,” Mauro said. “It was a good group of seniors and freshmen that we intertwined. To be 20-6 against tough competition is a great accomplishment. I’m just proud of the guys and proud of the season that we had. I think that moving forward, the Temple tennis program is getting stronger and stronger.”

Tom Ignudo can be reached at or on Twitter @Ignudo5.

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