Tennis splits Sunday matches

The men beat Xavier, 4-3. The women lost to the Musketeers, 5-2.

The men beat Xavier, 4-3. The women lost to the Musketeers, 5-2.

After the men’s tennis team had its match versus defending Atlantic Ten Conference champion George Washington postponed last Friday, Temple rebounded and defeated Xavier last Sunday, 4-3, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Center. The women fell to the Musketeers, 5-2.

“Xavier is a very strong team,” coach Steve Mauro said. “This was a very solid win for the men’s team. These are the types of wins we need to keep on having.

“We were really looking forward to the match [against George Washington],” he added. “We want to show how good we can be. To do that, you have to beat the best. Right now, George Washington is the best in the conference. We want to prove to ourselves that all the hard work pays off in results, so we look forward to rescheduling that and seeing where we stand with the elite of the A-10.

The men’s team got its wins from sophomore Filip and freshman Kacper Rams and sophomores Dmitry Vizhunov and Mansur Gishkaev.

“I really liked the way we played today,” Mauro said. “There was a real sense of urgency. This was a very good win that was greatly needed. We need to have matches like that every week, and we will be headed to a great season.”

The preseason conference polls that were released last week picked both the men’s and women’s teams to place in the Top 5 of the A-10. The women are projected to finish second, the men, fourth. Last season, the women finished in second place after winning the A-10 in 2008. The men ended up in sixth place last year.

“Honestly, it’s nice to see that, but both our men’s and women’s teams expect to finish first in the conference,” Mauro said. “This is my fifth year at Temple, and we seem to be recruiting on a much more national and international basis. We expect to win every time we compete.”

Richmond, last year’s champion, is projected to finish ahead of the Temple women. George Washington, Xavier and Saint Louis were selected ahead of the men. Temple and Xavier are the only two A-10 universities projected to have both their men’s and women’s teams finish in the Top 5 of the conference.

“I can see why Richmond was rated ahead of us,” Mauro said. “They won the conference last year, and they have many people back. That is not shocking, but our goal is still to finish first in the conference.”

Freshman Australian recruit May Johnson won her match in straight sets for the women’s team.
“She seems to be settling in,” Mauro said. “She is starting to learn the American game, and I can’t wait to see how she progresses.”

The rest of the women’s team struggled against the Musketeers.

“I’m not sure what happened today,” Mauro said. “The effort was there, the breaks just went their way. We will rebound and be all right. When the effort isn’t there, that’s when I will get concerned, but that’s just not the case right now.”

The men’s team improves to 1-2 overall and 1-0 in the A-10 after dropping its first two matches of the season to Dartmouth. The women fall to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the A-10 on the year.

The men and women will travel to Richmond, Va., to take on Virginia Commonwealth this weekend. The men will then remain in Virginia to do battle with Old Dominion.

Ryan Rosengrant can be reached at

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