The men and women’s tennis teams each made easy work of morning opponent Coppin State in 4-0 sweeps of the Eagles at the Legacy Center on Wednesday.
Each player on both teams dominated by winning each match in straight sets. The men’s team had won its match before it even started due to three singles forfeits and three doubles forfeits, which resulted in four out of the possible seven points.
In singles, coach Steve Mauro gave his top players a rest and allowed freshmen Anutej Yadiki (6-0, 6-0) and Stephen Ong (6-1, 6-2) get some playing time.
“[Ong] has been playing well over the last couple of weeks,” Mauro said. “He gives it 110 percent at practice and I am happy that we have been able to give him some playing time over the last few matches. He is working on making his game an all-court game and I was pleased with his improvements.”
Sophomore Vineet Naran, who usually plays in fifth-flight singles, was given the chance to play in the first flight and won in games of 6-2, 6-4.
In singles on the women’s side, freshman Yana Khon returned to the lineup after being sidelined for two weeks with a sprained ankle. She won in her first match back in 6-0, 6-1. The Owls also gained points from sophomores Dina Karina and Mariana Bedon, who blanked their opponents with scores of 6-0, 6-0.
“I thought [Wednesday] would be a great opportunity to get Yana back in the lineup,” Mauro said. “She was cleared to play today by the trainer. We were happy to see her back on the court and perform the way that she did by defeating her opponent pretty easily.”
The Eagles forfeited the fifth- and sixth-flight singles matches. They also forfeited all three doubles matches, allowing those three points to the Owls.
Mauro said that against weaker opponents, it is important for his teams to stay focused and not take these teams for granted. He said that on any given day, any team can be beat.
In the afternoon, the men’s team swept Rider, 7-0. With the win, the Owls bounced back from being shut out at Navy for the fifth time this season.
In singles, juniors Santiago Canete (6-2, 6-2), Nicolas Paulus (6-0, 6-0) and Ian Glessing (6-1, 6-0) each won in straight sets to gain control of the match. Junior Maros Januvka also added a singles point in an 8-2 win.
“I was pleased with Nick [Wednesday],” Mauro said. “The kid that [Paulus] played was a good player, but [Paulus] stepped up and played some strong tennis. He prefers to play indoors and I think that he plays better indoors.”
In doubles, the pairings of Paulus and Canete as well as Glessing and junior Ondre Cargill won with identical scores of 6-2.
On April 11, the teams will host a doubleheader against Fairleigh Dickinson. The men’s match will start at 10 a.m. and the women’s match will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday will be senior day for Rebecca Breland, the lone senior between both teams.
Dalton Balthaser can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @DaltonBalthaser.