By Danielle Nelson
*This article is posted on The Temple News website.
The tennis teams faced some of the best players in the Atlantic Region this past weekend in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Atlantic Regional.
After fighting for a spot in the next round on Friday, one of the 48 women doubles teams to make it through to the round of 32 was the duo of senior Alicia Doms and Jordan Batey, who were still in contention for the regional championship at the University of Virginia.
The two took to the court early Saturday morning to take on VCU’s Cindy Chala and Yukako Noi. Doms and Batey took down the VCU team in an 8-5 decision, to advance to the round of 16.
“They have been playing together for a couple of years now,” coach Steve Mauro said. “If they are on, they can beat a lot of teams in the country.”
The duo was halted on Sunday, however, as the fourth seeded pair from Virginia Tech ended their quest for a championship. After putting up a fight, Doms and Batey were ousted by IIinca Stoica and Kelly Williford with a score of 8-5.
In singles play, the pair was split in two as they continued their journey in the ITAs. On Saturday, Doms squared off against Liberty’s Rebekah Jenkins. Doms sent Jenkin’s packing as she won the match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. In the next round, on Sunday, Doms matched up against the No. 50 ranked player in the country and the top seeded player in the tournament, Cindy Chala of VCU. Doms struggled to keep up with Chala in the first set, losing in a 6-1 decision. Doms tried to battle back in the second set but Chala proved to be too much, winning the set and the match with a 6-3 score.
Batey entered the day on Saturday with hopes of advancing to the second round of the singles main draw. Maryland’s Olga Bredikhina had other ideas, as she downed Batey in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, sending her to the consolation draw of main singles. Batey was able to redeem herself against Norfolk State’s Liza Gordeeva, as she collected her final win of the season in a 6-4,6-1 decision.
On the men’s side, all eight men were in competition on Saturday.
In the singles main draw, two Owls were still vying for a championship, while the six other players were active in the consolation draw.
It was the first competitive singles match for junior Kristian Marquart since mid-September as he began in the round of 32. Marquart faced a rival in Delaware’s Troy Beneck. Despite, being familiar with Beneck, Marquart was unsuccessful as he dropped his match 6-2, 6-2.
“When you don’t practice for two-and-half weeks it is tough to come back against really good players but I think it was a winnable match so hopefully next time,” Marquart said. “I am sure I am going to play this guy again so next time it is going to be a different result.”
After reaching the second round of the main draw, sophomore Santiago Canete could not go any farther against Radford Nick Sayer. Canete took the first set, 6-3 but struggled in the final two sets, losing the match, 6-2, 6-2.
In the consolation draw, freshman Vineet Naran, sophomores Hicham Belsskir, Nicolas Paulus, Maros Januvka, Sam Rundle and junior Hernan Vasconez all took to the court for the final time this fall season.
Paulus, Vasconez and Januvka all won their last game of the season. Paulus had a difficult time getting pass Morgan State’s Evan Ward. After slugging out the first set, Paulus was able to come out with a win in a 7-6(3). The score was reversed in the second set as Ward won 6-7(3), pushing the match to a tiebreaker. Despite the back and forth, Paulus remained poised and surged past Ward in the third set, winning the match, 6-3.
Ward’s teammate, Dmitrity Borodkin , took on the Owls’ Januvka. Januvka was able to secure a win in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Januvka’s teammate, Vasconez won his first set against Penn State’s Chris Young, 6-4, but Young came storming back in the second set. Vasconez was able to keep Young at bay to end the set and the match in a 7-5 decision.
Both the men and women’s tennis team will resume competition in January 2014.
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