Women’s Tennis puts forward strong showing in last fall event

Temple won 22 of their 29 matches at the Temple Invite with more than two months before their next match

Junior Cecilia Castelli awaits a serve during the Temple Invite on Sunday at the Student Pavilion. | SEAN MAC DONALD / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University closed out the fall women’s tennis season by facing Villanova, Morgan State University and Mount Saint Mary’s University at the Temple Invite from Friday to Sunday.  The Owls claimed victory in a majority of their matches through the three day event.

The competition at the Student Pavilion sorted players into different flights, or tournaments. On Sunday, freshman Ruoyu Chen won the Cherry Flight singles title, and sophomore Oyku Boz won the Purple Flight singles title. Boz also won a doubles tournament with her partner, junior Cecilia Castelli. Boz went undefeated throughout the tournament.

The Owls were undefeated in doubles on Friday and only lost one doubles match on Saturday before they split four Sunday matches.

“We still have to figure out our doubles combinations,” coach Steve Mauro said. “We had different doubles combinations going on. …This is a period of time to get ready for the season to start.”

On Sunday, Temple faced off against Villanova. The Wildcats took two of the four doubles matches, but Temple won four of the seven singles matches.

Juniors Oleksandra Doroshenko and Kristina Titova beat Wildcats junior Kaylan Rotman and freshman Alexandra Vesikallio, 7-5. Doroshenko later lost to Vesikallio in a three-set singles match, 0-6, 6-3 and 7-10. Chen and junior Chunan Xiang lost in doubles, but Xiang came back to beat Villanova senior Lindsey Evans, 6-3 and 7-5.

Senior Alice Patch and freshman Stefaniya Surikova lost their match against Villanova junior Carina Burdick and freshman Olivia Kapp, 6-3. Patch also lost in her singles match against Rotman. Surikova, however, won her singles match against Wildcats senior Ellie Zimmerman, 6-2, 6-1.

Temple faced Mount Saint Mary’s on Saturday, and it only lost one match. Juniors Hannah Davis and Alexa Quintanilla defeated Chen and Xiang, 6-4, for the Mountaineers’ lone victory.

Patch and Surikova and Castelli and Boz won their doubles matches. Chen, Titova, Doroshenko, Castelli, Patch and Boz won singles matches.

On Friday, the Owls only lost one of nine total matches. The Owls won all three doubles and won five of six singles matches.

“We’re trying to give the girls all the tools in their bags so they are ready to play any opponent,” Mauro said. “We’ve been working on a lot of things…just getting the girls solid.”

On Friday, the three double pairs – Chen and Xiang, Patch and Surikova and Castelli and Boz  – went undefeated.

Chen, Castelli, Patch, Boz and Doroshenko notched singles victories against their Morgan State opponents to cap off a strong performance on day one. Bears junior Peggy Rooke earned Morgan State’s lone win by beating Xiang, 7-5 and 6-4.

Despite impressive performances, Mauro said that much is to still be worked on for future matches. In addition to figuring out doubles, Mauro said he wants the team to improve its serving.

“I felt that we double-faulted too many times in some of these matches,” he said. “These are all things that are fixable so we will just keep working on it in practice.”

Temple has more than two months before its next competition on Jan. 2, 2019, against Hampton University.  

“I think we are in good shape,” Chen said. “After we get these things better I think we will be really good.”

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