Men’s tennis wins first round matchup

Owls to face Charlotte Friday.

The men’s tennis team defeated Saint Louis 4-2 on Thursday afternoon at the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament in Mason, Ohio.

The Owls (8-11, 5-3 A-10) move on to face the third seed, Charlotte, on Friday. Saint Louis ends their season 6-13 (1-4 A-10).

“We played probably our best doubles match of the year,” coach Steve Mauro said. “Saint Louis has a very strong doubles team. We came out strong in doubles. We were strong at singles at the top of the lineup.”

In singles flight two, sophomore Kristian Marquart defeated junior Patrick Kella 7-5, 6-2. Freshman Santiago Canete topped junior Joe Flanagan 6-4, 6-4 in the third flight.

Freshman Nicolas Paulus won 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 against sophomore Yehia El Sallaly in the fourth flight. In the fifth flight, Freshman Hicham Belkssir fell 6-2, 6-3 to freshman Luis Miguel Flores.

In the sixth flight, freshman Sam Rundle lost 6-4, 6-3 to senior Drew Feder. The first flight match between sophomore Hernan Vasconez and senior Bobby Kidera was ended early with the score 5-7, 6-4.

In doubles, Belkssir and Vasconez topped Kella and Flores 8-5 in the first flight. In flight two, Marquart and Rundle beat Flanagan and junior Nishaad Balachandran 8-3. The third flight match between Paulus/Canete and Kidera/Feder was halted, with the Saint Louis duo winning 6-5.

Temple will face Charlotte Friday at 1 p.m.

“I’m happy about our draw,” Mauro said. “I think we have a great chance. Even though they have a three seed, I think it’s a winnable match. If the guys come out the way they did today, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t win.”

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

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