April 27, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -- Top-seeded Army recorded a 4-1 victory over the third-seeded Navy men's tennis team Sunday afternoon in the championship match of the Patriot League Tournament held on the Malek Courts in West Point, N.Y.
"It was a tough day for us," said Navy associate head coach John Moreland. "Army played really well. They built early leads in a lot of the matches and didn't let us climb too far back into them."
Navy won the doubles point from Army when the teams met a few weeks ago in Annapolis (an eventual 4-3 Army win), but the Black Knights won both of the completed doubles matches today against the Mids to earn the point.
Army's No. 3 team of Kyle Barnes and Austin McCasin recorded the first win of the day for the Black Knights as it posted an 8-3 win over Alex Gaines (So., Wilmington, N.C.) and Krishna Jana (Fr., Seabrook, Texas). The hosts then secured the doubles point on an 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles by the tandem of Sam Lampman and Grant Reichmann over Calvin Mark (Jr., Union City, Calif.) and Blake Daniel (Jr., Overland Park, Kan.).
In the remaining match, Navy's No. 1 duo of Austin Jones (So., Dallas, Texas) and Thomas Pecor (Fr. Houston, Texas) held a 5-4 lead over Asika Isoh and Alex Van Velzer when play was stopped.
"Army changed its doubles lineups since we last played them due to an injury," said Moreland. "Their teams played much better today than they did a couple of weeks ago. They really played well."
Van Velzer dropped just one game in defeating Jana at No. 5 singles to give Army a 2-0 lead. That cushion grew to 3-0 when Isoh posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over Mark at No. 1 singles. Daniel kept Navy's hopes alive with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Caison Best at No. 4 singles, but play concluded when Harrison McCormick defeated Tyler Tossavainen
(Fr., Fleming Island, Fla.), 6-0, 5-7, 6-1, at No. 6 singles.
The two remaining matches were stopped with Lampman holding a 7-6 (9-7), 4-2 lead over Jones at No. 2 singles and Riechmann up, 6-4, 2-6, 3-0, on Pecor at the No. 3 flight.
"Blake took care of business in short order," said Moreland, "and Tyler did a great job of getting into a third set. We were right there in most of the other matches.
"We had trouble finding our stride today. We not only played the lengthier quarterfinal (a three-hour 4-0 win over No. 6 Bucknell) and semifinal (a four-hour 4-3 win over No. 2 Boston U.) round matches, but we also played the last match of the day both Friday and Saturday which gave us the least amount of recovery time. That didn't help us today, especially with the added emotions of an Army-Navy match and it being played on the road. But Army earned the top seed and the ability to play the first match of the day, so it shows the importance of winning during the regular season. Army played really well today and we congratulate them for their efforts."
The Mids, who had all seven of their players take to the courts today while Army used eight players of its 21-player roster today, end the season with an 18-10 record and with having made their seventh appearance in the championship match of the league tournament in the last eight years.
"According to our seed, we shouldn't have made the final this year," said Moreland. "But we fought through a lot of injuries and other challenges this season and this weekend to still make it to the final. I am very proud of this team for finding a way to get us to this point once again. In my 13 years here, the competitive spirit of this year's team really stands out above the other ones. That's what enabled us to win 18 matches and make another appearance in the championship match. It has been one of the more enjoyable teams I have been able to coach here."
No. 1 Army def. No. 3 Navy, 4-1
Doubles -- Army wins doubles point (3-2)
1. Austin Jones / Thomas Pecor (N) led Asika Isoh / Alex Van Velzer (A) 5-4 (DNF)
2. Sam Lampman / Grant Riechmann (A) def. Calvin Mark / Blake Daniel (N) 8-5
3. Kyle Barnes / Austin McCasin (A) def. Krishna Jana / Alex Gaines (N) 8-3
1. Asika Isoh (A) def. Calvin Mark (N) 6-3, 6-3
2. Sam Lampman (A) led Austin Jones (N) 7-6 (9-7), 4-2 (DNF)
3. Grant Riechmann (A) led Thomas Pecor (N) 6-4, 2-6, 3-0 (DNF)
4. Blake Daniel (N) def. Caison Best (A) 6-2, 6-4
5. Alex Van Velzer (A) def. Krishna Jana (N) 6-0, 6-1
6. Harrison McCormick (A) def. Tyler Tossavainen (N) 6-0, 5-7, 6-1