April 19, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- After sweeping all three doubles matches to win the doubles point, the Navy men's tennis team raced out to a trio of straight-set singles wins to quickly secure an eventual 4-3 victory over Lehigh Saturday afternoon on the USNA Tennis Courts in Annapolis.
"I thought it was a good day for us," said Navy associate head coach John Moreland. "We didn't play our best match of the year, but we were able to scrap together a win. Lehigh had our number the last couple of times out (the Mountain Hawks defeated the Mids twice during the 2013 season on their way to winning the Patriot League title), so this was a quality win for us heading into the league tournament. It is nice to have a win under your belt in the last match before the tournament."
Each of Navy's (16-9, 3-2 Patriot League) three doubles teams defeated their Lehigh (10-7, 2-2) foes by the identical score of 8-6. The first match to finish was at the No. 3 flight where Alex Gaines (So., Wilmington, N.C.) and Krishna Jana (Fr., Seabrook, Texas) defeated Timur Chernykh and Tyler Hansen. The Mids clinched the doubles point when their No. 1 tandem of Austin Jones (So., Dallas, Texas) and Thomas Pecor (Fr., Houston, Texas) topped Mark Goldberg and Mitchell Petersen. Completing the sweep was Navy's No. 2 duo of Blake Daniel (Jr., Overland Park, Kan.) and Calvin Mark (Jr., Union City, Calif.), which defeated the team of Ben Gilman and Jeremy Kochman.
"It has been a really good roll for us in doubles," said Moreland. "That's the 11th win in a row for Blake and Calvin. We did get out to a quick start in each of the matches before things became a little tighter than we would have liked. But we were able to battle through that and clinch the point.
"It was crucial for our team to get that doubles point and carry some momentum into singles play. This is the best we have played in doubles in the last three or four years. We are really rounding the teams into shape."
Lehigh would tie the score at 1-1 as Jones had to retire from his No. 2 singles match against Gilman while leading, 4-3, due to an injury.
Navy regained the lead as Daniel completed a 6-2, 7-5 win over Kochman at No. 4 singles. He had trailed both 4-1 and 5-2 in the second set before storming back to win the set and the match. Today's win by Daniel came one week after he lost a three-set singles match to Army in what was the final match to be completed.
"It was another good win for Blake," said Moreland. "I was a little concerned when he was down in the second set after his tough loss last week. He really displayed leadership and the colors of his character today. He didn't give up. I spoke with him at the 4-1 changeover and told him, `hey, you are going to win this match.' And as the Blake we have come to expect, he kept battling and came roaring back to win. That's a great win for him today."
The Mids stretched their advantage to 3-1 when Pecor defeated Petersen, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 3 singles. Less than one minute after the end of that match, Mark recorded a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Goldberg at No. 1 singles to give Navy its match-clinching fourth team point.
"It was a growing experience for us against Army last week (Navy won the doubles point but quickly fell behind in singles in an eventual 4-3 loss to the Black Knights)," said Moreland. "We took that lesson into this week and focused on carrying that momentum from doubles into and all the way through the singles matches. The guys did a good job today of doing that. A little unfortunate Austin was carrying an injury and had to default his match. We really played very well when you look at it on the surface of us giving them a point early on to tie the score. It was good for us to dig our heels in today and come away with the team win after that."
With the outcome already determined, the match at No. 5 singles between Jana and Hansen utilized a 10-point, third-set tiebreaker instead of playing a complete third set. Hansen would emerge with a 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (10-4) victory. In the day's final match, Chernykh defeated Tyler Tossavainen (Fr., Fleming Island, Fla.), 7-5, 6-4, at No. 6 singles to winnow the final score down to 4-3.
"It was a tough tiebreaker for Krishna, and then a tough, close loss for Tyler," said Moreland, "but overall a very good day for us in singles."
Navy will now prepare for its quarterfinal round match on Friday in the Patriot League Tournament that will be played at Army. The seedings and bracket for the event will be determined early next week.
Navy (16-9 / 3-2) def. Lehigh (10-7 / 2-2), 4-3
Doubles -- Navy wins the doubles point (3-1-2)
1 - Austin Jones / Thomas Pecor (Navy) def. Mark Goldberg / Mitchell Petersen (Lehigh), 8-6
2 - Blake Daniel / Calvin Mark (Navy) def. Ben Gilman / Jeremy Kochman (Lehigh), 8-6
3 - Alex Gaines / Krishna Jana (Navy) def. Timur Chernykh / Tyler Hansen (Lehigh), 8-6
1 - Calvin Mark (Navy) def. Mark Goldberg (Lehigh), 6-4, 6-4
2 - Ben Gilman (Lehigh) def. Austin Jones (Navy), 3-4, retired: injury
3 - Thomas Pecor (Navy) def. Mitchell Petersen (Lehigh), 6-2, 6-4
4 - Blake Daniel (Navy) def. Jeremy Kochman (Lehigh), 6-2, 7-5
5 - Tyler Hansen (Lehigh) def. Krishna Jana (Navy), 7-5, 2-6, 1-0 (10-4)
6 - Timur Chernykh (Lehigh) def. Tyler Tossavainen (Navy), 7-5, 6-4