Memphis ends Temple’s season at AAC men’s tennis tournament

Memphis, the No. 18 team in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, beat Temple 4-1 on Friday at the SMU Tennis Complex in Dallas.

Freshman Mark Wallner practices at Legacy Tennis Center on Feb. 13. | GENEVA HEFFERNAN / FILE PHOTO

The Owls’ American Athletic Conference tournament run came to an end on Friday after they lost to Memphis, 4-1, at the SMU Tennis Complex in Dallas.

Temple’s loss to Memphis, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, came after No. 8 Temple (13-10, 1-2 The American) beat No. 9 Southern Methodist, 4-3, in the opening round on Thursday.

Memphis (18-4, 5-0 The American) extended its winning streak to 13 matches and beat Temple for the second time this season. The Tigers also defeated Temple, 7-0, on April 14 in Tennessee.

Memphis advanced to the semifinals and will play No. 5 South Florida on Saturday. South Florida defeated No. 4 Wichita State in the quarterfinals, 4-3, on Friday.

Memphis, the No. 18 team in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings, claimed the doubles point by winning two of the three matches. Senior Thomas Sevel and junior Alberto Caceres Casas lost to Tigers seniors Ryan Peniston and Andrew Watson, 6-3. Peniston and Watson are ranked as the 38th-best doubles combination by the ITA.

In the Owls’ other doubles loss, sophomore Juan Araoz and freshman Mark Wallner lost to Tigers senior Kai Lemke and junior Felix Rauch, 6-3.

The other doubles match did not finish because Memphis already won the necessary two matches to win the point.

Memphis won three of the four singles matches.

Sevel lost to Peniston, 6-1, 6-0, in the first flight. Peniston is ranked 39th on the ITA’s list of the top 125 singles players.

Sevel’s arm was bothering him, and he was not playing at peak health, coach Steve Mauro said. Sevel missed four matches with the same arm injury earlier this season.

Araoz lost to Lemke, 6-2, 6-1, in the third flight.

Memphis junior Chris Patzanovsky defeated sophomore Eric Biscoveanu to give the Tigers the victory. Patzanovsky defeated Biscoveanu, 6-0, 4-6, 6-3, in the fourth flight.

Wallner defeated Tigers sophomore Jan Pallares for Temple’s only point. After losing 6-1 in the first set, Wallner won the second and third sets, 6-2, 6-4.

The other two singles matches did not finish because Memphis clinched the necessary four points for the victory.

“It was a very close match,” Mauro said. “Doubles could’ve gone either way. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get the doubles point. All of the other matches were really close. I thought the guys did a great job. I think it was key if we had won the doubles point, I feel we would’ve won the match. Overall, I thought it was a really good match and the guys really fought hard.”

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