Men’s tennis starts spring with victory

Owls stay perfect against St. Francis.

The men’s tennis team defeated St. Francis (NY) 4-0 on Friday night in Ambler, PA.

The Owls (1-0) did not lose a single match. They won the first two doubles matches over the Terriers (0-1), giving the team their first point, and then won three singles matches to seal the win. The remaining matches did not finish due to the match’s late start.

“It was a good day,” coach Steve Mauro said. “Everyone played really well for a first match. It was a good way to get the season going. I was really happy the way the guys came out strong in doubles. “

The first flight player for Temple was senior captain Kacper Rams. He, along with sophomore Kristian Marquart (third flight) and freshman Hicham Belkssir (second flight), did not finish their singles matches. Marquart had won the first set of his match 7-5.

“Their team really improved,” Marquart said. “Last year I played the same side, and I didn’t even lose a game. The guy I played, I didn’t expect him to play so well.”

“They were definitely a better team this year,” Mauro said. “I know they brought in a couple new players.”

Marquart started the first set down 3-0 before roaring back.

“I came back, Coach told me some tactics stuff, and I won the set 7-5,” Marquart said.

Freshman Nicolas Paulus, who played in the fourth flight, won 6-1, 6-1 over senior Evan Vrsaljko. Freshman Santiago Canete Riaza defeated senior Martin Grunin 6-1, 6-1 in the fifth flight. Sophomore Hernan Vasconez triumphed 6-0, 6-0 over sophomore James Chung  in the sixth flight.

“We’ll be switching it up until midseason,” Mauro said. “Until then, we’re not sure what our lineup will be.”

In doubles, Canete Riaza and freshman Sam Rundle, in their Temple debut, won 8-1 over senior Ricardo Garcia and sophomore Francesc Terns-Campius in the second flight.

“I was really happy with the way they played,” Mauro said. “Sam just got cleared today. Hopefully they can stay together as a doubles team.”

Vasconez and Paulus defeated Chung and Vrsaljko 8-1 in the third flight. The top flight doubles team of Rams and Marquart did not finish. They were winning 5-2 when the match was called.

“Kacper and I work together well,” Marquart said. “ Me and Kacper are the best doubles team we could have, so we played number one.”

The Owls’ next match is at home against Richmond on Saturday, February 2 at 8 a.m.

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

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