Weather alters play at Cissie Leary Invitational

The Owls played all of their matches in the ten-team tournament at the University of Pennsylvania’s indoor facility, the Hecht Tennis Center.

The Owls concluded their final day at the Cissie Leary Invitational Sunday with four single wins in 16 matches.

Temple, who was one of 10 teams in the event, had to adapt to several changes in the tournament’s format.

With the effects of Hurricane Joaquin hitting the east coast, the teams played matches at the University of Pennsylvania’s indoor facility, the Hecht Tennis Center. All matches that went to third sets were played as 10-point super tiebreakers instead of playing out the full set.

“We’re not really used to playing indoors,” coach Steve Mauro said. “In singles we got off to a really slow start. But after we got used to it they started to play better in their second and third rounds.”

First singles player, Alina Abdurakhimova, was only able to play one doubles match the whole weekend due to an illness. She did not participate in any singles matches during the three-day stretch.

“It was unfortunate Alina couldn’t play because her doubles partner [sophomore Yana Khon] had to play with someone she’s not used to playing with,” Mauro said. “[Abdurakhimova] wasn’t able to play what she worked on in practice.”

Khon, who plays second singles, lost her three matches in the A flight division and consolation rounds. Junior Anais Nussaume also lost her three singles matches this weekend in the A flight. Senior Minami Okajima lost in her opening round in B flight, but rebounded with a straight sets win in her consolation round before eventually falling in her second round in straight sets.

Junior Mariana Bedon recorded a win in the B flight consolation round, but she was forced to retire in her second round match after injuring her elbow Saturday. Junior Dina produced the best result in singles for the Owls, reaching the quarterfinals in the B flight consolation round.

“It’s just the fall and it’s kind of the preseason so I’m not that concerned,” Mauro said. “There were a lot of close matches. I know we have a good team and I know that we’ll do well this spring.”

Bedon and Karina won three matches to take the B flight consolation title without dropping a set. The doubles pairing lost in the first round of the B flight main draw but improved its record this season to 7-2.

“This was a tournament with a lot of quality teams and the girls played really well in doubles,” Mauro said. “Bedon and Karina won most of their matches and lost only one match. Especially what we did with them in practice helped them a lot. [Karina’s] been working hard and getting quicker. I’m happy she’s having a good fall performance.”

Mark McCormick can be reached at or on Twitter @Markjmccormick.

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