Tennis teams see mixed results

It’s been an up-and-down season for the women’s tennis team.

After winning two of their first three matches in convincing fashion, the Owls have now lost five of their last six.  Temple’s overall record now sits at 3-6 after its most recent defeat at the hands of Houston. The Owls lost 4-0.

Despite being shutout, the Owls were winning on two courts after the match was called due to the fact that Houston had already earned the necessary four points to win the match.  Coach Steve Mauro said the conditions during the match made it tough for his team to adjust.

“I think one of the reasons was we’ve been playing indoors all year because of where we live and this was the first time we’ve played outside,” Mauro said.  “Going from indoor tennis to playing outdoors is a little bit of an adjustment.”

Another factor that made life tough for the Owls against Houston was that they were without two starters.  Freshmen Anais Nussaume has missed significant time due to a stomach injury and could not go against Houston.  Senior Jordan Batey also missed out on this match due to an internship commitment.

Both Nussaume and Batey have played both singles and doubles for Temple, so losing both made it difficult to compete on Wednesday.

“I’m confident that when we get our full team back, when we’re at full strength, that we’ll be able to compete with anyone in our conference,” Mauro said.

The Owls have three conference matches remaining against Southern Methodist, Rutgers, and Connecticut, before the American Athletic Conference tournament begins on April 17.

The men’s team started its season with a string of losses, but things are starting to turn around for the Owls.  On Thursday, the team won its fourth straight match against Philadelphia University 7-0.

“We’ve been playing well for the last couple weeks,” Mauro said.

Earlier in the season Temple had some close losses.  Mauro said his team has used these early season struggles as a learning experience and has become a better team as a result.

“Those close matches that we had early on actually helped us to get mentally tougher and I think now things are starting to go our way so hopefully they continue working hard,” Mauro said.

Junior Kristian Marquart saw his personal win-streak extend to six matches with a 6-0 victory.   Hernan Vasconez and Filip Stipcic also won by 6-0 scores.  Marquart and others will now look to keep the confidence at a high level moving into Saturday’s match against the University of Pennsylvania.

“We have some big matches coming up against some real strong opponents and we’d like to be able to get some wins against some of those teams,” Mauro said.  “Hopefully everyone is up for the challenge.”

While Temple plays only one match in the American Athletic Conference this year, the matches against city schools, like Thursday’s and the next match against Penn, are also ones that motivate Mauro and his players a little bit more than the rest.

“Any of the city schools that we play we always try and get up for those matches,” Mauro said.  “I enjoy playing those matches.”

Greg Frank can be reached at greg.frank@temple.edu or on Twitter @g_frank6.

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