The Drexel men’s tennis team cruised to a 6-1 victory on the road over Saint Peter’s University Feb. 2.
In doubles play, Drexel took two of three matches. Initially, the team was blanked when sophomore Xabier Saavedra and junior Alex Fioravante lost 6-0.
Juniors Badr Ouabdelmoumen and Daniel Hansen evened it up with a 6-5 (9) win. With the point on the line, senior Paul Stauskas and junior Dan Koehler followed them up by dropping their Saint Peter’s opponents 6-2.
Head coach Mehdi Rhazali had to make personnel adjustments due to injuries. He was forced to move up Koehler, who usually plays in singles matches only, with doubles partner Stauskas.
“We made the right adjustment from a line up stand point but from a match stand point we didn’t look ready for doubles,” Rhazali said about the move. “We were too defensive and looked nervous especially at the No. 1.”
With a last-minute adjustment, it can be particularly difficult for newly acquainted doubles partners to try and sync up, as Rhazali pointed out.
“Doubles partners are like dance partners: you have to know what your partner is going to do and move together,” Rhazali said. “That’s the biggest take away and what we are working on for the moment.”
In singles play, Drexel almost had a clean sweep, winning all but one of the matches. Ouabdelmoumen kicked it off by winning his sets 6-0, 6-4. The Dragons’ only loss came from Alex Fioravante in the second match. He took the first set 6-2, but dropped the following two, 6-2 and 6-5 (5).
Rhazali thought the differences in chemistry and the adjustments between the doubles and singles matches were key in winning in singles play.
“We won all of the [singles] matches because we were focused,” Rhazali explained. “After the coaching staff mentioned the weaknesses that we saw in doubles, the players were able to make the right adjustment and picked up the energy level as well.”
The win gives the men’s team an overall record of 3-1. They will return to the Armory for their first home game of the season this Sunday, Feb. 9, against Saint Francis University.
The women’s tennis team was dealt its first loss of the season Feb. 5 as Temple University shut out the Dragons 7-0. The Dragons came out on the short end in two of the three doubles matches. Junior Nicole Pivonka and freshman Fiorella Coria hung in with their Temple counterparts but lost the match, 7-5.
The women’s team was swept in all six singles matches but still showed good fight, as two of the singles matches going into three sets.
Senior Zeynep Mafa won her first set 5-7, but fell in the next two, losing the final set 10-1. Sophomore Erin Bowsher lost in three sets as well. She handily took the first set 6-1, but lost 6-3 in the second set and fell 10-8 in the final.
The loss puts the women’s tennis team at 3-1, stopping the Dragons’ three-game winning streak. They will try to ignite another winning streak when they return for their first home game of the season, Sunday, Feb. 9, when they face Saint Francis.