Temple University men’s tennis (5-5, 1-1 The American Athletic Conference) went 1-1 in a pair of road matches this weekend.
The Owls defeated Georgetown University (4-7, 1-1 Big East Conference) on Friday in Washington, D.C. and lost to Navy (15-5) on Saturday in Annapolis, Maryland.
In the match against the Hoyas on Friday, the Owls raced to an early lead, picking up the doubles point after senior Paolo Cucalon and freshman Marin Delmas won 6-2 and senior Eric Biscoveanu and sophomore Louis Gorregues won 6-4.
Temple’s dominance continued in singles play. Cucalon won his sets 6-2 and 6-3.
Senior Juan Araoz also won both his sets, earning 6-3 and 6-4 victories.
Delmas prevailed in a split match, losing the first set 3-6 before rebounding with a pair of victories with scores of 6-1 and 6-2.
Coach Steve Mauro credits the victory to his squad’s enthusiasm.
“The team was really looking forward to playing against Georgetown,” Mauro said. “Their energy was really up. They came out strong in doubles and then they just continued the success in singles.”
Temple looked to carry over the win into Saturday’s match with Navy but fell short, dropping the decision to the Midshipmen 4-1.
The Owls struggled in doubles play. Cucalon and Delmas lost 6-2 while Araoz and sophomore Enzo Brida fell 6-1.
“We didn’t play well in doubles,” Mauro said. “I give credit to Navy. They’ve always been strong at doubles.”
Brida played without his usual doubles teammate, Thibault Frumholz, who sat out this weekend with a sprained ankle, Mauro said.
The loss of Frumholz, a sophomore who is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and excels in doubles and singles play, was debilitating, Mauro said.
“I think if [Frumholz] was in the lineup, we would have won the match,” Mauro said. “It was tough for [Brida] to play without [Frumholz]. They’re one of our best doubles teams. Once we have a healthy team, I’m very confident in our chances against anybody.”
The Owls put up more of a fight in singles action. Araoz picked up a win with scores of 6-0 and 6-3.
The weekend was a turnaround for Araoz, who had lost his previous four singles matches entering Friday.
“[Araoz] played extremely well in both matches,” Mauro said. “I’m really happy for him.”
Delmas was also on his way to a win. He won his first set 6-2 and led 5-4 in the second, but the match went unfinished when the Midshipmen won their fourth point.
Despite the Owls’ success, Navy proved to be too powerful as they picked up decisive wins in singles play.
Cucalon dropped his match with scores of 6-0 and 6-1. Biscoveanu lost 6-2 and 6-3.
Brida fell in the final completed match, losing 6-2 before dropping a 7-5 set to end the Owls’ day.
Up next for Temple is a home matchup with Bucknell (5-6) on March 15.
“We have some tough matches coming up,” Mauro said. “I think the team is going to get better as the season progresses. We have a young team. We have a lot of new players, and we’re trying to teach them our system. They’re just going to get better. I like our chances against anyone come conference tournament time.”
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