Owls split matches against regional rivals

Temple split a pair of matches Thursday and Friday, losing to the University of Delaware before beating La Salle at the Hamlin Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Temple (9-7, 1-1 American Athletic Conference) lost to the University of Delaware on Thursday by a final score of 4-3 but shutout city rival La Salle on Friday by a score of 7-0 at the Hamlin Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.

Against Delaware, the Owls had a rough start by losing the point in doubles. Juniors Monet Stuckey-Willis and Yana Khon lost the first doubles match 6-3 before senior Anais Nussaume and junior Alina Abdurakhimova lost 7-6 (8) to concede the point.

In the third doubles position, graduate student Galina Chernykh, who has been dealing with a foot injury, played for the first time since the Owls’ opening match of the season on Jan. 14. She and senior Dina Karina won by a score of 6-1.

In singles, Stuckey-Willis started in the top position for the first time all season, a spot that only Abdurakhimova and Chernykh had claimed before. Despite winning the first set, she fell by a score of 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Abdurakhimova followed with a 6-2, 6-2 win to get the Owls on the board. In the third position, Khon couldn’t close out a victory after winning the first set. She fell 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

In the fourth position, Karina managed a 6-3, 6-1 win that gave Temple life before Nussaume lost 2-6, 6-0, 6-3 to seal the victory for Delaware. Bedon picked up a futile point with a win in the sixth position, 6-3, 6-0.  

When Temple took on La Salle on St. Patrick’s Day, the team played a completely different game.

The Owls rolled in doubles by not allowing the Explorers to win a single game. The combinations of Abdurakhimova and Khon, Karina and Stuckey-Willis, and Bedon and freshman Cecilia Castelli each won their matches by a score of 6-0.

In singles, the Owls’ dominance continued. Stuckey-Willis won in the first position by a score of 6-0, 6-1. In the second position, Chernykh played in singles for the first time since Jan. 14 and won by a score of 6-3, 7-5. Finally, Karina won in the third position 6-1, 6-2 to seal the win.

Khon was victorious in the fourth position 6-1, 6-0. Bedon matched Khon’s easy victory with a 6-0, 6-1 win. Finally, Castelli finished the match in similar fashion with an easy 6-0, 6-1 in the sixth position.

Temple will travel south this weekend and take on Florida International University on Saturday before facing conference rival South Florida on Sunday. The Owls will play a rare outdoor match.

Graham Foley can be reached at graham.foley@temple.edu or on Twitter @graham_foley3. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.

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