Owls finish strong in opening tournament

Belkssir, Canete, and Rundle win all three of their single matches.

The men’s tennis team finished well against the host team, Navy, as the team closed out its first tournament of the fall season at the Navy Invitational on Sunday.

The Owls crowned four flight champions in singles play, after sophomores Hicham Belkssir, Santiago Canete and Sam Rundle won all three of their singles matches over the weekend, posting a  3-0 record. Vineet Naran won both of his matches going 2-0 this weekend. Altogether, the Owls won only one out of four doubles matches and five of their eight matches against the Midshipmen in singles play.

Overall, in singles play, junior Kristian Marquart defeated his opponent 6-2, 6-4 at the first flight. Junior Hernan Vasconez was unsuccessful as he fell to a score of 3-6, 2-6 at the second flight. Likewise, at the third flight, sophomore Nicolas Paulus was defeated 6-7 (6-8), 2-6. Canete retained his winning streak with a 6-2, 6-2 victory at the fourth flight. Rundle won his match with a tiebreaker of 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) at the fifth flight. Belkssir was also victorious in his tiebreaker in a 7-6 (9-7), 6-0 decision at the sixth flight. Sophomore Maros Januvka suffered a lost in a 4-6, 6-2 decision at the seventh flight. At the eighth flight, Naran remained unbeaten with a score of 6-4.6-3 win.

In doubles action, only a pair of Owls were winners. At the first flight, the pair of Belkssir fell in a 6-8 decision. Canete and Paulus also lost their match in a tight 8-9 (7-4) decision at the second flight. Rundle and Vasconez struggled in a 3-8 score at the third flight. The pair of Januvka and Naran were the lone victors in a 8-6 decision at the fourth flight.

“Navy is always a strong team,” Mauro said. “They always win their conference, so I was really happy how the guys came out and played. Especially Kristian Marquart, who had a great match at [flight] one. He played their best player and he beat him. So I am happy with the way Kristian stepped it up today. Santago Canete played really strong so we are really happy the way he played.”

The team will head back home to prepare for its next opponents.

“We will give them a day off tomorrow [Monday],” Mauro said. Tuesday will be an easy day and then on Wednesday we will start again and just really work on their conditioning and getting them in better shape.”

The Owls next competition will be this weekend at the Princeton Invitational.

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