RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 18, 2014 – The James Madison men’s tennis team opened its season by posting a 1-1 record Saturday at the VCU 4-1 Invitational. The Dukes opened play with a 5-0 loss to the host Rams, but bounced back with a 3-2 win over Temple.
The event consisted of four singles matches and one doubles match. In the win over the Owls, the Dukes won the top three singles matches.
Sophomore Robert Stirling (Caboolture, Australia/St. Columbans College) continued his success in dual matches from last season, when he finished with a record of 11-8. Playing at No. 1 singles against Temple, Stirling rolled to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Hicham Belkssir, who won two tournaments during the fall season.
A pair of freshmen picked up their first career dual victories as Sebastian Salinas (Merida, Mexico/Preparatoria Abierta SEP) and Brett Moorhead (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) won at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively. Salinas topped Santiago Canete 6-2, 6-3, while Moorhead beat Filip Stipcic 6-1, 7-5.
Another set of freshmen, Niels Kathol (Bonn, Germany/Collegium Josephinum Bonn) and Mason Smith (Norfolk, Va./Cape Henry Collegiate School), played well in a losing effort. The duo fell to Kristian Marquart and Vinset Naran 6-7 (11), 6-4, 13-11.
JMU will have a three-week break before it returns to action against Georgia Southern on Feb. 8, and East Carolina on Feb. 9. Both matches will be played in Greenville, N.C.