When freshman Marin Delmas stepped on the practice court at Legacy Tennis Center on Feb. 18, his teammates erupted in applause and playfully slapped him on the back.
Despite being this season’s only freshman on Temple University men’s tennis (4-2, 1-0 The American Athletic Conference), Delmas, a native of Lorient, France, has excelled on the court and seamlessly integrated himself into the locker room, said Francisco Bohorquez, a senior.
Delmas has yet to lose a doubles match, posting four wins, no losses and two games that went unfinished.
In the Owls’ match with St. Francis College on Jan. 30, Delmas won his singles games by a combined score of 12-2, and in the following match against George Washington University on Feb. 9, Delmas won his matches 6-0 and 6-1.
Overall, he has four singles wins and two unfinished matches this season.
“Last year, I didn’t play this much,” Delmas said. “I was playing three times a week, but now I’m playing almost every day. It’s made me a better player for sure.”
Delmas’ efforts have made an impression on coach Steve Mauro, who has paired him with seniors like Eric Biscoveanu, Paolo Cucalon and Bohorquez throughout the season.
“We’ve been experimenting with [Delmas] in doubles,” Mauro said on Feb. 18. “Right now, he’s with [Biscoveanu], and hopefully it stays that way. Ideally, the perfect partnership is a player like [Delmas] who is strong along the baseline with someone like [Biscoveanu] who is strong at the net so they can set each other up.”
Although Delmas and Cucalon won their match at George Washington, Temple’s other pairs struggled, and the Owls lost the doubles point at that match.
Having Delmas as a reliable doubles player no matter his partner will provide versatility for the team going forward, Mauro said.
Before coming to Temple, Delmas was a standout athlete in Lorient.
He won the Junior Regional Championship in his junior season in high school and was a semi-finalist at last year’s Senior Regional Championship.
Delmas mostly played singles in France, but he has enjoyed learning to play doubles at Temple.
“The pressure isn’t affecting him at all,” Bohorquez said. “I think it’s making him play better. He’s very calm. He brings good energy to the team, and he wins matches.”