WRITTEN BY: JIMMY WILLIAMSON
The Temple Men’s Tennis team got back to their winning ways with a 7-0 shutout victory over the visiting University of Delaware Blue Hens. With this win, the Owls broke their recent two-game losing streak and have now won ten of their last 12 games. The Owls also remain a perfect 6-0 at home. This match was the team’s first outdoors win of the spring season.
Temple made quick work of UD early, sweeping them in double play. Hicham Belkssir and Vineet Naran picked up the first doubles win at the first flight, beating Tyler Flamatti and Blaise Casselbury 6-2. Next came Uladzimir Dorash and Florian Meyer at the second flight, who took care of Delaware’s Mike Furr and Tim Puterio with ease, 6-2. The freshman duo continued their impressive first collegiate campaign as the two continually exchanged highlight reel shots between one another. Last came Artem Kapshuk and Santiago Canete at the third flight, who topped Roy Cheng and Colin Wong, 6-3.
Temple’s domination of UD continued into singles play, as the Owls would claim victory at all six flights, with five coming in straight sets. Uladzimir Dorash picked up the team’s first singles win with a 6-0, 6-0, shutout win over Venkatesh Ramkumar at the third flight. After the match, head coach Steve Mauro said that Dorash and Artem Kapshuk were two of the players he was most impressed with on the day. Kapshuk won at the first flight in straight sets over Mike Furr, 6-0, 6-1. Hicham Belkssir got the win at the fifth flight over Colin Wong, 6-0, 6-2. Next came Filip Stipicic, who beat Alex Sweet at the sixth flight, 6-1, 6-0. Santiago Canete picked up the win out of the second flight after playing sporadically over the past few weeks thanks to illness and injury. Canete beat UD’s Tyler Flematti in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2.
Last came Florian Meyer, who earned an impressive win in a marathon match at the fourth flight. He earned the win over Blaise Casselbury 7-6 (7), 6-3.
The difference between this win and the team’s recent two-game losing streak is all about comfort level. The Owls are still getting acquainted to playing in an outdoor environment and the added experience from the team’s recent road trip helped set them up for this win. “I think we are getting more acclimated to the wind and playing outside,” said head coach Steve Mauro. “So I think each time we play, the better we’ll get.”
Although it was nice to be back at home, the Owls must hit the road again to face everyone’s favorite, Penn State University this Saturday in University Park. Penn State is just the first tough opponent the Owls must face on their current four game road trip. Penn State is currently 12-3 on the season and 7-0 at home.