Men’s tennis sunk by Navy

Team suffers first loss 5-2.

The men’s tennis team was handed its first loss of the spring, losing to the Navy Midshipmen 5-2 this afternoon.

The match, in Annapolis, MD, was the first away match of the season for the Owls (2-1, 1-0 Atlantic 10 Conference). They also traveled to Navy (5-2, 0-0 Patriot League) in the fall for the Navy Blue Invite. The Midshipmen also won that match 5-2, although it did not count towards the team’s records.

“Driving all the way out here, playing on their home court was tough,” coach Steve Mauro said. “We played pretty well, but I know we could play better. The match was closer than the score indicated.”

Mauro also blamed the courts for some of the struggles.

“I think the surface had something to do with it,” Mauro said. “They were a slower hard court surface. My guys really weren’t used to it.”

Senior Kacper Rams lost in the first flight 6-2, 6-0 to sophomore Calvin Mark. In the second flight, sophomore Kristian Marquart lost 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8) to sophomore Peter McDonald. In the third flight, freshman Hicham Belkssir was defeated by freshman Austin Jones 6-2, 6-1.

In the fourth flight, freshman Santiago Canete won 6-4, 6-0 against sophomore Blake Daniel.

“Santiago played really well,” Mauro said. “He won pretty easily.”

Freshman Nicolas Paulus defeated senior Nicholas Gutsche 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 in the fifth flight. In the sixth flight, sophomore Hernan Vasconez fell 6-4, 6-3 to sophomore Tyler Burnett..

In doubles, Paulus and Vasconez lost 8-1 in the second flight to freshman Alex Gaines and Jones. In the third flight, Marquart and freshman Sam Rundle fell 8-4 to Daniel and Gutsche. The top flight match, pitting Rams and Canete against Mark and McDonald, was halted before completion, with the Navy tandem up 7-6.

“We didn’t play well in doubles,” Mauro said.  “We just started out pretty slow.”

The Owls are next in action against Davidson on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The match will be played in Manasquan, NJ.

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

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