After defeating the University of Delaware 7-0 on March 12, the Owls were shutout by Penn State 7-0 at University Park, Pennsylvania on Saturday.
The Owls (12-4) are 2-3 on the road this season and have lost three of their last four matches after winning 11 of their first 12 matches.
“Even though we lost 7-0, a lot of the matches were close,” coach Steve Mauro said. “In doubles, we could have won the point and at least three or four of the singles matches were also very close. I think if we would have played them home, it could have been a different outcome.”
The Owls’ singles win leader, freshmen Artem Kapshuk, lost 6-1, 6-3 to Delaware senior Leonard Stakhovsky, while in the second flight senior Santiago Canete fell 6-0, 7-5 to Blue Hens senior Matt Barry.
Senior Nicolas Paulus, who sat out against Delaware with a hairline fracture in his wrist, lost 6-2, 6-1 to Delaware’s Tomas Hanzlik.
Mauro said the doctor cleared Paulus to play, but he’ll start to feel more comfortable on the court as he continues to play in more matches.
In doubles, senior Hicham Belkssir and junior Vineet Naran lost 6-1 while freshmen Florian Mayer and Uladzimir Dorash, who were on an eight game winning streak as a duo earlier this season, lost 6-4.
“I think we did all the right things to prepare for the match…it was just one of those things that didn’t go our way,” Mauro said. “There’s plenty of good teams that we’re going to play this year. I think that everyone is confident and there’s no reason we can’t beat a ranked opponent.”
After losing their last four matches by a combined score of 8-20, the Owls will look to rebound against a 10-1 Lehigh squad on March 23 in Bethlehem, Pa.
Tom Ignudo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Correction: In an earlier edition, the headline stated the Owls lost to the ‘Blue Hens’ when they lost to Penn State