Temple women’s tennis splits weekend matches against city rivals

The Owls swept Villanova 5-0 on Friday at the Legacy Tennis Center, but lost to Penn 7-0 on Saturday.

It was a tale of two matches for Temple University women’s tennis during the weekend.

Temple (9-4, 0-1 The American) swept Villanova 5-0 at the Legacy Tennis Center on Friday, but was on the other end Saturday, losing 7-0 to Penn on the road.

With the sweep on Friday, Temple has won all five of its matches played at Legacy this season. Coach Steve Mauro attributes the home success to comfort level.

“We feel comfortable there, it’s tough playing on the road,” Mauro said. “We know our own court surface compared to playing in other facilities.”

Against Villanova, Temple won two of its three doubles matches behind the tandems of senior Alice Patch and sophomore Oyku Boz along with juniors Oleksandra Doroshenko and Kristina Titova to secure the doubles match points 6-4 and 7-6 respectively.

The Owls fared even better in singles, going a dominant 6-0 behind success from freshman Ruoyu Chen, who won her singles match in two sets, 6-3 and 6-4. Chen is undefeated in singles matches this year.

Freshmen Yining Tian and Stefaniya Surikova, won their singles matches in what was a stellar overall afternoon for Temple’s underclassmen, Mauro said.

“We spent a lot of time recruiting and finding players for our system,” Mauro added. “We’re extremely lucky to have those girls and they play great tennis. The future bodes well for us and for them.”

Temple was not as successful against Penn. The Owls lost two of three doubles matches with freshman Ruoyu Chen and junior Chunan Xiang securing Temple’s lone doubles victory at the Hecht Tennis Center.

Temple did not win a singles match on Saturday, but Mauro was not concerned about the team’s performance against Penn, he said.

“We were tired and both doubles and singles matches were closer than you think,” Mauro said. “It’s tough playing back to back and I could see the fatigue. Overall I was happy with the effort and in different circumstances, I think we could’ve won the matches.”

Chen emerged from the long weekend as one of the “best players in the conference,” Mauro said. The freshman won the lone doubles and singles matches she participated in during the weekend.

“She’s been a real pleasure to coach,” Mauro added. “We were happy to get her, she had many recruiters but she chose us… Not only does she work hard but she’s also a good person.”

Temple will host its first match against Hofstra University at the Student Pavilion on Thursda

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