Women’s tennis advances past first round

Team starts A-10 tournament with win, will face VCU next.

The women’s tennis team defeated Saint Louis 4-1 on Thursday in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. The Owls are now 10-13 (4-6 A-10).

Saint Louis (12-8, 2-2 A-10) got its only point in doubles. In the second flight, sophomore Ama Osei and junior Carly Bohman fell 8-4 to sophomore Brooke Urzendowski and freshman Maddie Cook. It was the first match Osei and Bohman had played together all year.

Juniors Jordan Batey and Alicia Doms lost to junior Stephanie Hollis and senior Mia Elmore 8-6 in the first flight, clinching the point for the Billikens. Junior Yana Mavrina and sophomore Rebecca Breland were leading their third flight match against sophomore Maria Toro and freshman Natalia Yacaman 7-5 when it was halted.

After having sat out three of the team’s past four matches, Osei won her fifth-flight match quicker than anyone else, defeating Yacaman 6-1, 6-1.

Next, Batey topped Elmore 6-2, 6-2 in flight two, and Mavrina defeated Urzendowski 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 in flight three. Breland clinched the win with a 6-3, 7-6 (4) fourth-flight victory against Cook.

In the top flight match, Doms and Hollis had just started the third set when the match was halted. Doms won the first set 7-5, and Hollis won the second set 3-6. In flight six, Bohman and Yacaman were in the third set as well. Bohman won the first set 6-3, Yacaman won the second set 4-6, and they were tied 5-5 in the third set.

Temple faces a quick turnaround and one of its toughest opponents of the season Friday. The Owls will take on the top-seeded Virginia Commonwealth Rams, the 38th-ranked team in the country at 10:00 a.m.

VCU (19-4, 2-0 A-10) has won 10 straight matches. The Rams swept La Salle 4-0 in the first round, only dropping one doubles game and winning three singles matches 6-0, 6-0. VCU won 83 games, while La Salle only won seven.

The Rams’ top-flight player is sophomore Cindy Chala. She is 14-4 this spring, and has not been defeated in the past seven matches.

The Owls and Rams played each other in VCU’s 4×1 Invitational in January. VCU won the matchup 3-0.

Coach Steve Mauro and players were not immediately made available for comment.

Evan Cross can be reached at evan.cross@.edu or on Twitter @EvanCross.

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