PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Temple men's tennis team sent four players to the rain-shortened SJU Invitational on Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25, 2011, hosted by Saint Joseph's University. Kacper Rams, Mansur Gishkaev, Stanislav Stekolshikov and Taylor Hairston represented the Owls at the event.
Rams, playing at the first singles flight, advanced to the championship match, which was not played due to the weather alterations that forced most of singles play to take place on Sunday. Rams opened the tournament with a straight-set 6-1, 6-1 win over Chris Damion of Hofstra on Saturday. He went on to defeat Drexel's Badr Ouabdelmoumen, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3), in the second round, before securing his spot in the championship match with a 6-3, 6-1 decision against Jeff Kessler of Saint Joseph's.
Also making it all the way to the championship was Gishkaev at the second flight. The junior earned a 6-1, 7-5 win on Saturday over Erik Thunberg of the host team. He then defeated both Pete Williams (6-0, 6-1) of Army and Bryan Nguyen (6-1, 6-2) of Drexel to close out the tournament.
Hairston was TU's third competitor to not lose on the weekend, competing at flight three. The second-year player was victorious over Swarthmore's Christian Carcione by default on Saturday. On Sunday, he dropped just two games in a 6-0, 6-2 win over Tom Kowalski of Monmouth, before defeating Drexel's Darius Frick, 7-5, 6-1, to end the day.
Stekolshikov was a tough-luck loser in his only match of the weekend at the fourth flight. The senior dropped a 4-6, 7-6 (9), 12-10 decision to Jason Sisti of Saint Joseph's.
Temple is back in action next weekend, sending players to the ITA All-American Championship in Tulsa, Okla.