Men’s tennis closes its season with fourth-place finish in A-10 Tournament

Temple lost to No. 1 seed George Washington last Saturday and then dropped the third-place game.

The Temple men’s tennis team fell short of its goal of winning the Atlantic Ten Championship this weekend in Monroeville, Pa. The Owls fell, 4-1, to No. 1 seed George Washington last Saturday. They finish the season with a 10-12 overall record after going 14-10 last year.

“We really felt that we had a good shot going into these championships, [but] it just wasn’t meant to be,” coach Steve Mauro said.

The Owls dropped the third-place game, 4-3, last Sunday to the No. 3-seeded Duquesne Dukes. They lost the doubles point, which ended up being pivotal.

“We came out with high energy despite the loss yesterday,” Mauro said. “I was proud of the fight we put up today. We could have folded, but that’s just not how we handle things.”

Sophomore Filip Rams capped off an undefeated record in singles play in the conference with a 6-2, 6-4 straight-set victory against senior Jeremy McClelland of the Dukes. None of those wins went to a third and deciding set. Filip Rams finishes his sophomore season with an 18-8 singles record. He won 12 of his last 13 matches. His only loss came to junior Slen Vloedgraven of the No. 40 Binghamton team.

“Filip had a fantastic season, and it will be really nice to see him progress going into next season,” Mauro said.

The Owls opened up play in the A-10 Championships with a 4-3 victory against fifth-seeded Saint Louis last Friday. Filip Rams led the way for the Owls. He won his singles match and teamed up with sophomore Dmitry Vizhunov to take their doubles match. Temple would sweep all of its doubles matches against the Billikens and received victories from Filip Rams, junior Stanislav Stekolshikov and sophomore Mansur Gishkaev.

Last Saturday, the Owls earned their lone point against George Washington from the racket of Filip Rams. He earned a 6-1, 6-1 victory in straight sets.

Filip Rams also teamed up with Vizhunov for a doubles victory, but it was not enough to take down the top-seeded team.

“We had a good season, [but] there aren’t any excuses,” Mauro said. “[GW] was just better than us today.”

The A-10 Championship came down to No. 1 seed George Washington and No. 2 seed Xavier. The Musketeers claimed the crown for their third straight conference championship.

The Owls will have every player back next year. Temple finished its highest in the conference since a third-place finish in 2006.

“We will look at what went wrong and work on getting better for next year,” Mauro said. “We have all the talent in the world to win this conference and go beyond. We just need to execute better.
“Our goals will be the same as this year – win the conference,” Mauro added. “I really think that can happen. We just need to be better than we were this weekend.”

Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at ryan.rosengrant@temple.edu.

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