Temple University women’s tennis was unable to leave their first home match of the season with what could have been their first win. The 4-0 sweep to Drexel puts the Owls at 0-3, while the Dragons advance to 1-1.
The most action of the morning match came in the doubles portion. The Drexel pairing of junior Salma Ziouti and freshman Šárka Richterová stuck first, beating senior Oleksandra Doroshenko and sophomore Stefaniya Surikova 7-5.
Junior Oyku Boz and sophomore Yining Tian evened things up with a 7-5 victory. Dragons junior Mya Fuentes and sophomore Tara Veluvolu won the decisive third match 7-5 over sophomore Rine Nozaki and senior Cecilia Castelli, giving Drexel the doubles point.
“I thought we’d do a little bit better job in doubles,” coach Steve Mauro said. “I think we needed to finish more balls. We had some easy balls at the net that, you know, we didn’t put away, so we gave them too many easy opportunities.”
Drexel dominated singles, winning four matches with three going undecided. All of Drexel’s singles wins came in consecutive sets. Fuentes topped Castelli on court four. Veluvolu beat Boz on court five and the Owls’ morning ended on court three when Richterova bested Tian.
“In singles, we fought hard, but we needed to be a little bit more steady,” Mauro said. “We seemed to be losing the long rallies so that’s something that we’re going to continue to work on practice.”
It was the Owls’ first outing of the season at their home base, the Legacy Tennis Center in East Falls. While the final result may not reflect it, Mauro noticed a homecourt bump.
“It’s a lot nicer playing at home just because we’re used to the surface,” Mauro said. “I thought we definitely played better today than we did our last match.”
Temple has run into some bad luck early into the season. The Owls lost their number one and two starters, sophomore Ruoyo Chen and senior Chunan Xiang, due to nerve damage in the arm and academic issues respectively, Mauro said. These absences leave Temple with only six players.
Mauro said the team’s short handedness has led him to be cautious not to overwork them in practice.
The Owls head to Princeton, N.J. on Sunday for a scrimmage against the Tigers, before returning to the Legacy Tennis Center to host Rider next Friday.