After beating East Carolina 4-3 on Saturday afternoon, the Owls improved their winning streak to six match with a 5-2 victory against Connecticut on Sunday.
“It’s great to beat two conference opponents, both teams are pretty strong,” coach Steve Mauro said. “What stood out was we have a really good of combination of great real good freshmen and about four returning seniors so the combination of the two actually worked real well. The freshmen stepped up as well as the seniors. So I was really happy on how the guys played.”
Last season, the Owls—who were without Santiago Canete due to a wrist injury— were 2-2 against American Athletic Conference opponents. This season, the squad is 2-0 in conference.
As the team did against East Carolina on Saturday, the Owls’ won all three doubles matches against the Huskies.
Freshmen Artem Kapshuk and senior Nicolas Paulus defeated Zac McEntee and Arnaud Valentin 6-4. In the next match, freshmen Florian Mayer and Uladzimir Dorash beat Hank Hill and Jonathan Edwards 6-2.
Mauro said their success against East Carolina helped them build momentum going into the game against the Huskies.
“We knew ECU was going to be a tough opponent, so you know we concentrated a little bit more on doubles,” Mauro said. “I think that doubles we’ve been working on a lot in practice and I feel that extra practice and extra work really paid off this weekend because we beat ECU and UConn. …I’m really happy where the guys are coming along. We still need to get better to be a top team in the country, but we’re going to continue to work on it.”
The freshmen duo of Mayer and Dorash are undefeated this season in doubles matches with a 4-0 record since pairing up against La Salle on Jan. 21 in the team’s 7-0.
In singles, Paulus defeated Jacob Spreyer 6-2, 7-5, while Kapshuk won his singles match against Justin Warren 6-1, 6-1.
The 8-1 Owls will travel to play Youngstown State on Saturday and Saint Francis on Sunday hoping to improve their winning streak – their streak since the 2013-2014 season.
“I hope to get our number one player back for those matches because traveling on the road is always tough to beat someone at their home court so hopefully we’re healthy and we can keep the streak going,” Mauro said.
Tom Ignudo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org