Men’s tennis will return seven of eight players next season

Senior Thomas Sevel is the only player on the roster that won’t return to Temple next season.

Junior Alberto Caceres Casas will play in his first American Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday after spending his first two seasons at Division II Armstong State University. | ALEX ST. CLAIR / TTN FILE PHOTO

Temple’s season ended when it lost to Memphis, the No. 1 seed in the American Athletic Conference tournament, 4-1, on April 20 in Dallas.

Temple’s loss to Memphis came after No. 8 Temple (13-10, 1-2 The American) beat No. 9 Southern Methodist, 4-3, in the opening round on April 19.

Temple will return every player for next season except senior Thomas Sevel.

“I think our expectation is to do even better next year,” coach Steve Mauro said. “We’re still recruiting. I’m sure we’re going to be able to bring in some good players. Our expectations next year will be to win the conference.”

Sevel’s singles win against Southern Methodist freshman Tomas Vaise clinched the match for the Owls. Temple and the Mustangs were tied 3-3 before Sevel’s win.

After Sevel won the first set, 6-3, Vaise beat Sevel in the second set, 6-4. Sevel won the third set, 7-5.

In the Memphis match, Sevel lost to senior Ryan Peniston, 6-1, 6-0. Peniston is ranked 35th on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s list of the top 125 singles players.

Sevel played the match through an arm injury, coach Steve Mauro said. It was the same injury Sevel suffered in Temple’s loss to Drexel on March 29. The injury forced Sevel to retire from his match and miss Temple’s next three matches.

Sevel went 12-6 in singles play this season. Sevel and his doubles partner, junior Alberto Caceres Casas, went 11-4. Sevel and Caceres Casas started the season 9-0. Their first loss came against Georgetown University seniors Peter Beatty and Mac Rechan on March 17.

“[Sevel] had such a great year,” Mauro said. “He was the winning match against [Southern Methodist], which is always a top team in the country every year. Thomas had a great tournament. …He was a big part of our team.”

Sevel was one of several players who battled injuries during the season. Sophomore Juan Araoz missed three matches due to a wrist injury. Junior Uladzimir Dorash was in and out of the lineup with a pectoral injury before he played his last match against Georgetown. Dorash initially suffered the injury in Temple’s first match of the season against Morgan State University on Jan. 19. He missed 13 matches this season.

“We never really played any of our matches at 100 percent,” Mauro said. “I think pretty much everyone on our team had the flu at one point. We had some injuries as well. I think if we would’ve been healthy, there wouldn’t be a lot of teams that would’ve beat us this year.”

Dorash’s doubles partner, sophomore Francisco Bohorquez, said Dorash’s injury was hard on him because the two have been doubles partners for the past two seasons.

When Dorash was injured, Bohorquez spent time with three different doubles partners — Caceres Casas, freshman Mark Wallner and sophomore Eric Biscoveanu.

Bohorquez had a 1-1 record with Wallner and a 2-4 mark with Biscoveanu. Bohorquez won both of his two matches with Caceres Casas.

“I had to get used to playing with another player,” Bohorquez said. “It was hard also for the team because we were playing without one really important guy.”

Despite the injuries and illnesses, Bohorquez thinks the team had a good season.

“We were really close against teams like Virginia, who won the national championship the last three years in a row,” Bohorquez said. “We were really close against Memphis also and they were number one in the conference and 20th in the nation. I think, overall, the season was really good, even though we had a lot of people who were injured.”

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