Men’s tennis wraps opening weekend

The men’s tennis team concluded the Navy Blue Invite tournament in Maryland against the Navy Midshipmen Sunday, winning two doubles matches and a singles match.

The Owls were led by senior Kacper Rams and freshmen Nicholas Paulus who won their doubles match in a tie break 9-8 (7-4) and their respective singles matches. Rams beat the Midshipmen’s No. 1 player Calvin Mark in straight sets 6-3 6-2.  Paulus picked up the first singles match win in his college career as he beat Peter McDonald 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6).

“My serve was pretty good today,” Rams said. “I was really comfortable with my serving game. Also my volley near the net was really good today.”

“[Paulus’] single match was one of the matches that really stuck out,” coach Steve Mauro said. “It was a hard-fought tie breaker and it was great to see him win in the collegiate level.”

Sophomores Kristian Marquart and Hernan Valconez both lost a pair of tie breaks. Marquart lost 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9) to Navy’s Austin Jones. Valconez lost  6-2, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8) to Nicholas Gutsche. Mauro said that Marquart’s match was the deciding match so the intensity was kicked up a notch.

“[Marquart] played really good tennis, [he] just came up a few points short,” Mauro said.

Hicham Belkssir lost his singles match and was paired up with teammate Marquart for doubles, losing 8-3 to Alex Gaines and Austin Jones.

“Overall, we played very competitive tennis, considering we just started I am very optimistic about the season,” Mauro said. “With all of the new players we have it was great experience for us this weekend. We just got everyone cleared medically the other day. I think there are good things to come for the team.”

“We found out what we need to work on to improve and where we are at as a team,” Rams said. “This weekend was definitely beneficial for the team, we have a lot of potential and I am really looking forward to this season.”

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