Feb. 5, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's tennis team will close out a five-match homestand this week by playing host to Temple Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in the Tose Family Tennis Center. The Mids will then play the first of back-to-back road matches Saturday when the face No. 19 North Carolina in an 11 a.m. match in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Navy (4-2) split the two matches it played this past weekend, dropping a 4-3 decision to East Carolina and posting a 6-1 victory over Villanova.
Austin Jones (Fr., Dallas, Texas) continued his strong early season play by compiling a 3-0 record on the day. He picked up a pair of wins at No. 3 singles while teaming with Alex Gaines (Fr., Wilmington, N.C.) for a win at No. 2 doubles against Villanova. The tandem's match against East Carolina was not completed due to the doubles point already being determined.
Team captain Nicholas Gutsche (Sr., Sarasota, Fla.) also won a pair of singles matches Saturday, with both coming at the No. 5 flight. He rallied to win a 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) decision against East Carolina's Colin Roller before posting a 6-4, 6-4 win against Villanova's Michael Rosengren.
Temple has won both of the matches it has played this season. The Owls have posted a 4-0 win over St. Francis (N.Y.) and a 4-3 victory over Richmond.
Navy and Temple faced each other during the Navy Blue Invitational this fall. Each team won one doubles match, with Navy going on to win three of the five singles matches that were contested between the teams.
The two teams have not met in a dual match since the Mids won a 4-1 decision over the Owls during the 2009 season. That match was the first between the squads in 18 years.
"Temple just beat a good Richmond team," said Navy head coach John Officer. "We have had very close matches with them in the past so we will need to be prepared."
North Carolina was ranked 19th nationally in the Jan. 30 ITA National Poll. Additionally, four singles players and one doubles team from North Carolina hold a national ranking.
The Tar Heels have compiled a 3-2 record this season. After starting the year with wins over Wofford, Gardner Webb and Tulsa, they have since dropped consecutive matches to then-No. 19 Tennessee and No. 41 Louisville.
Navy and North Carolina have met in each of the last seven seasons. The Tar Heels have won all seven matches, a span that includes a 7-0 victory over the Mids one year ago. However, last season's match was far closer than the final score indicates. Navy won one of the three doubles matches and lost three singles matches that were extended into a third set.
"North Carolina is a perennial top-20 team," said Officer. "They are the toughest team on our schedule. We will have to be at our best."
A link to live results from the Navy at North Carolina match can be found at NavySports.com.