Owls split Big 5 battles

Temple beat Villanova 5-0 on Friday but lost 6-1 to the University of Pennsylvania on Saturday at the Hamlin Tennis Center in University City.

The women’s tennis team took on two Big 5 rivals at the Hamlin Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania this weekend and came away with very different results.

The Owls (4-3) swept Villanova 5-0 on Friday for their fourth dual win of the season but fell 6-1 to Penn on Saturday.

The Owls were nearly perfect at Friday’s 7:30 a.m. match. In singles, junior Alina Abdurakhimova was victorious in the No. 1 position 6-1, 6-4. Junior Monet Stuckey-Willis followed in the second position with a 6-2, 7-5 win.

In the fourth and fifth positions, seniors Anais Nussaume and Dina Karina won by scores of 6-2, 7-6 and 6-0, 6-1, respectively. Junior Yana Khon’s match ended with the score at 5-7, 6-2, 3-4 and wasn’t completed because Temple already had a decisive lead in the meet. Freshman Cecilia Castelli, in her first singles match of her Temple career, led 4-6, 6-2, 2-0 when her match was called early as well.

In doubles, the combination of Khon and Stuckey-Willis won in the top slot by a score of 6-4. In the second position, Abdurakhimova and Karina got a 6-2 win. Nussaume and senior Mariana Bedon led 5-4 when their match was called.

On Saturday afternoon, the Owls were much less successful against the Quakers.

In singles, the lineup was similar to Friday’s match with Abdurakhimova and Stuckey-Willis in the top two positions. Abdurakhimova lost three sets, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, while Stuckey-Willis fell by a score of 2-6, 4-6.

In the third position, Nussaume lost 5-7, 3-6, while Khon and Karina both lost 3-6, 4-6. Bedon secured the Owls’ only singles win by a score of 6-4, 6-4.

The Owls were more competitive in doubles, going 1-2 against Penn’s three pairs. Khon and Stuckey-Willis lost a tight one, 7-5, while Bedon and Nussaume just got edged out in a 7-6 loss. Abdurakhimova and Karina won their match, 6-4, out of the second position.

Graduate student Galina Chernykh didn’t play in either match. Chernykh hasn’t played after starting in the top position in the Owls’ season opener at Old Dominion University on Jan. 14 due to a foot injury.

Temple will have about a week off before it takes on Farleigh Dickinson University on Friday.

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