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Tennis starts out new year with strong performances | The Triangle

Tennis starts out new year with strong performances

Freshman Kashyap Ashok  returns a shot during the Dragons' matchup against St. Francis University. (Photo Courtesy -
Freshman Kashyap Ashok returns a shot during the Dragons’ matchup against St. Francis University. (Photo Courtesy –

The Drexel University tennis teams have rolled into this new year red hot, with the men and women having a 5-1 and 4-0 record against their opponents, respectively.

The men’s team played back to back days, competing first in the Philly Six Invitational and then against St. Francis College. The team first steamrolled La Salle University, 7-0, but got the favor returned the very next day with a 5-0 loss against The University of Pennsylvania. That would be the only blemish on their record, as they would win their third match in the Philly Six against Temple University, 4-1. After the invitational, the team was ready for a return to the regular season versus St. Francis.

They were up to the challenge, as they hammered St. Francis in a 7-0 shutout. The match saw senior Badr Ouabdelmoumen win in straight sets, 7-5. Singles matches went smoother after that with matches that saw senior Alex Fioravante shut out his opponent in straight 6-0 sets. Freshman Hamza Laalej got some court action and made the most of it when he won his match in convincing fashion, 6-0. The men’s team claimed the seventh point in doubles, sweeping all three games. The only doubles match that saw a razor result was when doubles partners Laalej and Dan Koehler won their match 3-2. With the win, the men’s team improved to 5-1 and will face Morgan State University Feb. 1.

Head coach Mehdi Rhazali shared some thoughts on how he will prepare the team for Morgan State. “The men definitely had competitive matches and played a lot of tennis in the opening weekend. To prepare for Morgan State we have to recover well and fast,” Rhazali said.

He continued, adding his thoughts about the women’s team. “Both teams will be working on strategies to keep developing the mental toughness part of the game. We are trying to move on right away when we make a mistake and have more positive comments if we lose a point so that we can keep the energy going, stay positive, and keep the momentum going. We stress maturity and professionalism on the court because when we know how to manage those aspects, then the game comes along.”

The women’s team maintained perfection through their two games in 2015. They first encountered La Salle to kick off the 2015 season and handled them easily with a 7-0 win. The game was littered with 6-0 straight set wins by the singles team and shut out La Salle 6-0 in all three doubles sets. The only problem the Dragons encountered was when freshman Clary Rodriguez Cruz soundly defeated her opponent, 6-1, 6-3. The winning didn’t stop there as they marked another shut out win in their next game against St. Francis. The team did not allow a single point to the opposition, meaning they won all their singles matches in 6-0 straight sets. The shut outs didn’t stop there as all the Drexel doubles partners won their matches against St. Francis, 6-0 as well.

The double wins against La Salle and St. Francis push their record to a still perfect 4-0. They’ll join the men’s team and face off versus Morgan State Feb. 1 at the Armory.