The Temple men's and women's tennis teams will both start their fall seasons on Saturday, taking on La Salle at 10 a.m. and Rider at 2 p.m. Last season, both squads swept their weekend opponents, 7-0.
The men's team is coming off a 15-10 season, their best since 2010-11 where they went 18-8. The Owls went 1-4 in American Athletic Conference play with their only victory coming in a 6-1 win over UConn. In the American Athletic Conference tournament, Temple took down the Huskies 4-0 in the opening round of the tournament, but fell to USF in the quarterfinals.
The men, who are coached by 10th
-year coach Steve Mauro
, return a veteran team of six seniors. Nicolas Paulus
led the team with a 14-8 dual record and ended the season ranked fifth all-time in career singles victories with 52. Senior Santiago Canete
also returns for his final season after posting a team-leading 19-win overall singles record.
Rider is coming off a 2-18 season and has already competed this fall season at the Villanova Invitational and suffered a 7-0 loss to Wagner on September 15. La Salle finished the 2014-15 season 2-12, with a lost to Dayton in the first round of the Atlantic-10 tournament.
The women's team is coming off the best season in Temple history, posting a record of 19-7; the previous record of 18 wins had been set in 1986-87 and 1988-89. The Owls were seeded seventh in the American Athletic Conference tournament, where they took down Cincinnati in a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory. However, Temple fell to Tulane in the quarterfinals, 4-0.
After losing only one senior in Rebecca Breland
, the women's team returns a core group of players. Last season, the freshmen trio of Alina Abdurakhimova
, Yana Khon
and Monet Stuckey-Willis
led the team, each posting 15 or more wins in dual play. Abdurakhimova and Stuckey-Willis' 19 overall single wins in 2014-15 ranks third overall for a freshmen, behind Christine Clermont and Radka Ferancova (24 in 2006-07) and Jordan Batey (23 in 2010-11). Stuckey-Willis' 16 doubles victories were the fourth most by a rookie.
Abdurakhimova was named American Athletic Conference Co-Freshmen of the Year and All-Conference at the end of the season.
Rider finished last season 2-15 and suffered a 6-1 to Wagner on September 16. La Salle posted a 0-9 record and a loss to Massachusetts in the first round of the Atlantic-10 tournament. The Explorers just finished competing at the Saint Joseph's Invitational last weekend.
For the Owls, both teams continue their fall play next week, as the men's team will take part in the Navy Invitational on September 25 and 26. The women's team will travel to New Jersey for the Princeton Invitational on September 25-27.