Tennis teams compete in Lehigh Invitational

By Danielle Nelson

*This article is posted on The Temple News website.

The men’s and women’s tennis team concluded its two day tournament on Sunday at the Lehigh Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.

Six women from Temple competed, including freshman Anais Nussaume, sophomore Minami Okajima, junior Rebecca Breland and seniors Carly Bohman, Alicia Doms, and Yana Marvina. Four men, sophomores Hicham Belkssir, Santiago Canete, Nicolas Paulus, and junior Hernan Vasconez, took to the court in both singles and doubles action over the weekend competing against Delaware, Army, Lehigh, Loyola and Bucknell and Drexel.

“I think we had a good weekend,” coach Steve Mauro said. “I think we were the most dominating team here. We won most of our matches in singles and doubles so overall I thought the team performed real well and I think this will give us some confidence going into regionals.”

Nussaume, Okajima, Belkssir and Vasconez were undefeated in singles play at the end of the tournament.

On Saturday, the women went head to head against Army in singles competition splitting their matches. At the first flight, Marvina squared off with the Black Knight’s Jamila Paul losing the first set 4-6 but then winning the next two sets including a super tiebreaker 6-1,10-5. Playing at the third flight, Nussaume was also victorious against her Army opponent, winning comfortably in straight sets 6-2, 6-1. Okajima was the winner in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 against Della Taylor. Breland, Doms, Bohman all dropped their first match of the tournament. Doms lost in a super tiebreaker 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 to Carline Pitman. Breland was unsuccessful against her junior counterpart, Elle Taylor, dropping the first set 6-2 and then losing in a close second set 6-5 (7-5). Bohman struggled against Allyson Hayley, falling in straight sets 6-2, 6-0.

In doubles action, the Owls were unbeaten against Lehigh and Loyola.

Marvina and Nussaume teamed up to defeat Lehigh’s Jenai Bilimoria and Abby Farrell, 8-5. The pair later continued their winning streak outplaying Loyola’s Tiffany Ash and Haleigh Morgus, 8-7(5). The duo of Breland and Okajima came up with a 8-3 victory against the Mountain Hawks’ Cassidy Cruz and Alexandra Kaminetsky of Lehigh, then defeating Loyola’s duo of Katelyn Hissong and Ania Krawiec, 8-6.

The men played a mixture of singles and doubles competition against Drexel, Loyola, and Lehigh on Saturday.

In doubles action, Vasconez and Belkssir dropped their match 8-3 at the first flight.

“Doubles is all about serving good, putting first serves in, coming to the net and also with practicing with your partners,” Vasconez said. “I haven’t practiced much with Hicham so playing at number one is hard.”

The tandem of Cantete and Paulus, however, defeated Drexel’s Daniel Hensen and Badr Quabdelmoumen 8-7(7).

On Sunday, the women took on Bucknell and Lehigh in singles plays. The women won all of their six matches against Lehigh, finishing the day with 10 of 12 match wins.

In their matches against Bucknell, Breland and Bohman were able to rebound and come away with wins. Breland was victorious in a 6-5(5) 6-4 score over Michele Urbinati. While Bohman defeated Jori Fox in a 6-4,2-6, 11-9 tiebreaker. After dropping the first set, Nussaume earned a come from behind win over Lydia Colvin, 5-6(2), 6-4, 10-8. Okajima secured her win by easily defeating Melissa Parks 6-1, 6-0.

“I enjoy tennis much more so I am more jumpy and happier on the court,” Okajima said. “I keep all the balls in the court more than my first tournament, I was just solid overall. I didn’t hit any special shots or anything. It wasn’t like my forehand was amazing or my backhand. I was just solid all around. That is what [I] really wanted.”

Doms and Marvina, however, were unsuccessful against Bucknell. Marvina dropped her match with identical scores of 6-5, 6-5 against Maria Cioffi. Doms fell in a tiebreaker, 6-4,2-6,10-8 to Elena Vidrascu. Doms and Marvina were able to bounce back in their matches against Lehigh. Marvina ended the day by winning a super tiebreaker 6-2, 3-6, 10-5 against Abby Farrell from Lehigh. In a 6-2, 6-3 decision, Doms was the winner against Cassidy Cruz of Lehigh.

The men faced Delaware on Sunday.

At the third flight, Belkssir held off the Blue Hens’ Mike Furr in a 6-2, 6-4 decision. Vasconez fought back in the second and third set to win his match, 6-7(9), 6-1, 10-5. Canete was defeated 6-2, 6-2 against Troy Beneck. Delaware’s Adam Lawton was victorious against Nicolas Paulus as he fell 6-2, 6-3 at the first flight.

In doubles action, the duo of Canete and Paulus wasable to collectively defeat Beneck and Lawson at the first flight 8-2.

The Owls will take a day off before they head back on the court to practice.

“The girls and the guys played a lot of matches so I think we are going to give them tomorrow off,” Mauro said. “On Tuesday we will have a light practice and on Wednesday we will continue to work hard for the rest of the week.”

The men’s team will compete next in its final competition of the fall season at the 2013 USTA/ITA Division I Men’s Atlantic Regional Championship on Oct. 17-22 at Virginia Tech. The women’s team’s last competition will be 2013 USTA/ITA Division I Women’s Atlantic Regional Championship, hosted by the University of Virginia on Oct. 18-22.

“We submitted both of our teams and a committee will select which players will get into the [regional] tournament,” Mauro said

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