After blistering through its last five opponents, the women’s tennis team extended its winning streak to six straight Friday, defeating the University of Dayton, 5-1.
The American Athletic Conference reigning player of the week Alina Abdurakhimova led Temple by recording her eighth consecutive straight-set singles victory at the first flight.
“[Alina] plays consistent tennis and she goes about her game in a professional matter,” coach Steve Mauro said. “She does all of the right things at practice and her hard work at practice shows in the matches.”
The Owls also recorded singles points from freshmen Monet-Stuckey Willis (6-2, 6-1) and Yana Khon (6-1, 6-1). Sophomore Dina Karina contributed by earning her singles point through a 6-3, 6-1 victory.
“I was impressed with [Yana] today,” Mauro said. “We moved her up to the second flight and she made quick work of her opponent … Monet also had a great match. She is playing solid tennis as well.”
The Owls earned the doubles point with quick work at the first and second flight. Mauro said the team struggled in the third flight, and hopes the new duo of Karina and junior Minami Okajima can step their game up Saturday against Cincinnati.
“We struggled at three doubles today with a different combination, but hopefully that can improve against Cincinnati tomorrow,” Mauro said.
Mauro said he is pleased with his team’s chemistry on and off the court.
“The girls enjoy being with one another and they work hard together at practice,” Mauro said. “Getting them to be well-rounded players at practice is helping.”
The men’s team also played Dayton Friday and lost to the Flyers, 5–2. The loss ended the team’s two match winning streak.
Junior Santiago Canete (6-1, 6-4) and sophomore Vineet Naran (6-1, 0-6, 10-5) earned Temple’s only points of the match in singles action.
“[Santiago] is playing more consistent tennis,” Mauro said. “He is not letting his opponents frustrate him and he is frustrating his opponents by keeping more balls in play.”
The team’s doubles teams played close matches – losing one in a tiebreaker – but struggled to handle a few routine shots that came their way.
“We were inconsistent with our volleys and we missed too many easy balls at the net,” Mauro said.
Both teams will finish their Ohio road swing Saturday as the women’s team takes on American Athletic Conference rival Cincinnati at noon, while the men’s team takes on Wright State at 5 p.m.
Dalton Balthaser can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @DaltonBalthaser.