Men’s tennis loses ninth straight

Coach Steve Mauro remains “optimistic” despite nine-match losing streak.

The men’s tennis team lost to Xavier 7-0 on Friday night. It was the team’s ninth straight loss.

The Owls (2-9, 1-3 Atlantic 10 Conference) need to win all their remaining eight games to finish with a record above .500. The Musketeers (13-2, 5-0 A-10) are 9-0 at home this spring.

“We’re still optimistic,” coach Steve Mauro said. “Even though we’ve lost these past couple of matches, the score doesn’t really indicate how close the matches were. It’s a lack of experience. We only have one senior and basically freshman and first year sophomores. It’s just gonna take a little time.”

In doubles, freshmen Nicolas Paulus and Maros Januvka lost 8-2 to juniors Jimmy Roebker and Mesa Mai in the top flight. Senior Kacper Rams and freshman Hicham Belkssir lost 9-7 to sophomore Michael Moe and freshman Zach Mueck in the third flight. The second flight match was halted early due to Xavier winning the doubles point. Sophomore Kristian Marquart and freshman Sam Rundle were down 7-6 against senior Philip Diaz and redshirt-sophomore Patrick Bandy.

Normally, Paulus plays with sophomore Hernan Vasconez and Rams plays with freshman Santiago Canete.

“We changed up the doubles combinations,” Mauro said. “Doubles was really tight at two and three. One doubles didn’t play that well.”

In the singles top flight, Rams had to retire in the first set due to back pain. He was losing 4-1 to Roebker at the time.

“He was having injury problems with his nerve in his back,” Mauro said. “That was unfortunate.

In his first singles match of the spring, Januvka was defeated by Mai 6-0, 6-0  in the second flight. Marquart lost 6-7 (7-4), 7-5, 1-0 (10-8) in the third flight to Mueck.

In the fourth flight, Paulus fell 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) to senior Brandon MacDonald. In the fifth flight, Belkssir was defeated by freshman Adam Krull 6-3, 6-3. Canete lost 6-1, 1-6, 1-0 (10-8) in the sixth flight to Moe.

“I thought we did pretty well on a few courts,” Mauro said.

The Owls are next in action against Delaware on Friday, March 22 at 2 p.m. The match will take place at the Student Pavilion.

Evan Cross can be reached at or on Twitter @EvanCross.

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