April 19, 2013
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Navy men's tennis team posted a 4-0 victory over Colgate Friday in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament. The match between the No. 4 Mids and the fifth-seeded Raiders was played at the Drumlins Tennis Club in Syracuse, N.Y.
Navy's win advances the Mids into Saturday's semifinal round of the tournament. The Mids will face top-seeded Army at 10 a.m. on either the Abrahamson Courts in Hamilton, N.Y. (primary site, outdoors) or back at the Drumlins Tennis Club (secondary site, indoors).
"We played exceptionally well today," said Navy head coach John Officer, who has led the Mids to Patriot League titles in five of the last six seasons.
Friday's match between the Mids (16-11) and the Raiders (7-11) was similar to the one the teams played several weeks ago in Annapolis. Navy won the doubles point in the first meeting of the teams with narrow wins at the Nos. 1 and 3 flights, and history repeated itself Friday.
Today's match saw Navy's No. 1 tandem of Calvin Mark (So., Union City, Calif.) and Peter McDonald (So., Chapel Hill, N.C.) team up for a 9-7 win over Bobby Berkowitz and Luke Gensburg. While just one break of serve decided that match, the remaining two matches would be extended into tiebreakers. Alex Gaines (Fr., Wilmington, N.C.) and Austin Jones (Fr., Dallas, Texas) were down a break of serve twice prior to the start of the breaker, but eventually secured the doubles point for the Mids with their 7-5 win in the tiebreaker over Harry Jewett and Parker Lewis at No. 3 doubles.
In the remaining match, Navy's Blake Daniel (So., Overland Park, Kan.) and Nicholas Gutsche (Sr., Sarasota, Fla.) held a 6-4 lead in the tiebreaker over Alex Goldstein and Nick Laub at the No. 2 flight.
"The doubles matches were very hard fought," said Officer, "but it was good, championship-level tennis from both teams."
Navy then controlled the first three singles matches to be completed to close out the match. The trio of Mids to win in singles dropped a combined 12 games in recording their respective victories.
Mark, who defeated Gensberg by scores of 6-2, 6-3 a few weeks ago, won a 6-4, 6-0 decision at No. 1 singles over the same foe Friday. Navy's third team point of the day was tallied by Gaines, who posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over Alan Pleat at the No. 5 flight. Gaines had won a three-set match (6-4 in the third) over Pleat in the first meeting of the season between the players. The Mids then closed out the proceedings when Gutsche defeated Laub by the score of 6-3, 6-2 at No. 4 singles. Gutsche defeated Laub 10-8 in a third-set tiebreaker (used in place of a complete third set) when the duo squared off earlier this season in Annapolis.
Navy also led in two of the three matches that were not completed, with the score tied at one set apiece in the remaining match.
"Calvin played extremely well," said Officer. "All of his shots were working. I was very pleased with how Alex played, and Nick played very well," said Officer. "Really, everyone played well in singles."
Navy and Army will meet for the second time in 13 days. The Black Knights tallied a 4-3 win over the Mids in the first meeting of the season between the teams that took place in West Point.
The two service academy teams will be meeting for the 15th time in the 20 years of the Patriot League Tournament. The Mids hold a 9-5 advantage over the Black Knights in the tournament and have won the last five times they have faced each other in the event. Army has won both previous matches between the teams that have taken place in the semifinal round, with Saturday's match being the first semifinal pairing between the teams since 2005.
"This was a very championship-type performance from us," said Officer. "We played well in all facets of the game. We seem to be peaking at the right time. We had a very tough schedule this season and I think doing so prepared us well for this weekend."
Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinal
No. 4 Navy (16-11) def. No. 5 Colgate (7-11), 4-0
Doubles -- Navy wins the doubles point (1-3)
1. Mark, Calvin / McDonald, Peter (N) def. Berkowitz, Bobby / Gensburg, Luke, 9-7
2. Daniel, Blake / Gutsche, Nicholas (N) led Goldstein, Alec / Laub, Nick, 8-8 (6-4), unfinished
3. Gaines, Alex / Jones, Austin (N) def. Jewett, Harry / Lewis, Parker, 9-8 (7-5)
1. Mark, Calvin (N) def. Gensburg, Luke, 6-4, 6-0
2. McDonald, Peter (N) led Berkowitz, Bobby 6-1, 5-6, unfinished
3. Daniel, Blake (N) led Goldstein, Alec, 3-6, 6-2, 2-0 unfinished
4. Gutsche, Nicholas (N) def. Laub, Nick, 6-3, 6-2
5. Gaines, Alex (N) def. Pleat, Alan, 6-2, 6-1
6. Sisk, Alex (N) was tied with Beam, John, 6-4, 1-6, unfinished