Temple University men’s tennis (4-3, 1-0 The American Athletic Conference) saw its four-game winning streak snap Wednesday, losing 4-0 to Penn (5-6) at the Hecht Tennis Center.
Despite the final score, coach Steve Mauro said he thought the match was more competitive than the numbers showed.
“I thought doubles was really close,” Mauro said. “In singles, I think we could’ve done better. The guys played hard, but their timing was a little bit off.”
The Owls narrowly missed out on the doubles point. Sophomores Enzo Brida and Thibault Frumholz continued their solid play as a tandem, winning their game 6-3. The duo is now 4-1 together in doubles this season.
The Quakers responded as sophomores Jason Hildebrant and Edoardo Graziani defeated senior Eric Biscoveanu and sophomore Louis Gorregues.
The split set the scene for a tense finish to the final game, pitting senior Paolo Cucalon and freshman Marin Delmas against Quakers senior Dimitry Shatalin and freshman Zach Smith. Shatalin and Smith prevailed 6-4 in a tight contest.
Despite losing the doubles point, Mauro commended the effort of his team, especially the play of the Owls’ underclassmen.
“[Playing doubles] is a new experience for the younger players,” Mauro said. “I’m very confident in our underclassmen, and I know they’re going to keep improving.”
In singles play, Penn won the first three decided matches, earning the decisive fourth point when senior Max Cancilla defeated Gorregues with scores of 6-3 and 6-2.
Graziani also won in singles, defeating senior Juan Araoz 6-0 and 6-2.
The Owls had some bright spots in singles. After suffering his first loss of the season in doubles, Delmas won a marathon first set against Shatalin 7-6 (2) and was trailing 2-3 in the second set that went unfinished due to Penn’s prior victories.
Brida was also leading his set when the remaining games were called. After dropping his first set 6-3, he led the second 3-1.
“It’s unfortunate,” Mauro said. “It could have been closer, but we’ll build from this, and I think it will motivate us for our next match.
The Owls will be back in action Sunday at 12 p.m. against AAC opponent Memphis (1-8) in Memphis, Tennessee.