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Men's Tennis to Open League Play this Weekend

Alex Gaines

March 28, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's tennis team will open its slate of Patriot League matches this weekend when the Mids play Saturday at Bucknell and Sunday at Colgate.

The current weather forecast for Lewisburg, Pa., has both the site and time of Saturday's match at Bucknell in question. It is scheduled to be played outdoors at noon on the Bucknell Varsity Courts. Should conditions force the match to instead be played inside, it will start at 1 p.m. at the West Branch Tennis Club in Williamsport. Navy's match Sunday at Colgate will begin at noon and be played on the Colgate campus in Hamilton, N.Y.) regardless of whether it is played outdoors (Joseph W. Abrahamson Tennis Courts) or indoors (Sanford Field House).

"We are excited to begin league play," said Navy associate head coach John Moreland. "We will have to be very focused and sharp as we start the league campaign on the road at two very tough places to play in Bucknell and Colgate. Bucknell is always a tough opponent, especially on the road. Colgate has been solid so far this season and we will have to be ready for a tough match on Sunday. We are looking forward to the challenge these matches bring. Challenges such as what we will face this weekend and throughout the Patriot League season are why we played such a tough non-league schedule."

The Mids enter the weekend having won of nine of their last 11 matches and with an overall record of 13-6 this spring. Four of Navy's six losses this year have been to teams with a national ranking at the time of the match.

Individually, Calvin Mark (Jr., Union City, Calif.) leads the Mids in singles with an overall record of 14-5. Austin Jones (So., Dallas, Texas) has posted an 11-5 record this spring, while Blake Daniel (Jr., Overland Park, Kan.), Krishna Jana (Fr., Seabrook, Texas) and Thomas Pecor (Fr., Houston, Texas) each have recorded 10 victories.



Navy's most successful doubles tandem has been the team of Daniel and Mark. That duo has compiled a 10-2 record this season.

Bucknell has posted a 2-9 record this spring. Included among the results for the Bison have been losses to Saint Francis (Pa.), George Mason and Delaware and a win over Mount St. Mary's. The Mids have recorded wins over each of those four foes. Additionally, Bucknell has posted a 6-1 win over Loyola in the lone match it has played to date against a Patriot League team.

The Mids defeated Bucknell by the score of 5-2 during the 2013 season. Navy won two of the three doubles matches before winning two straight set and two three-set singles matches to claim the overall win. Among returning players, Mark lost in straight sets at No. 1 singles, Daniel won in three sets at the No. 3 flight and Alex Gaines (So., Wilmington, N.C.) lost just two games in winning his No. 5 singles match in straight sets.

Defeating Mark in that singles match one year ago was Nick Bybel, who returns for his sophomore season this year. The lone other win for the Bison against the Mids last season was tallied by fellow returning player Kyle Rosen, who won in straight sets at No. 6 singles.

Colgate has posted a 7-6 record this season. The Raiders have already faced a number of Patriot League foes this year in Boston U. (L, 5-2), Holy Cross (W, 7-0) and Army (L, 7-0). Colgate also has picked up wins over Saint Francis (Pa.) and St. Bonaventure, teams Navy also has defeated this spring.

Navy defeated Colgate twice during the 2013 season. The Mids tallied a 6-1 victory during the regular season before winning a 4-0 decision in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament.

The regular season match between the teams saw Navy win the doubles point and five singles matches, but it was not as dominant of an effort as the final score may indicate. Three of those singles wins were recorded in three sets, with the third-set score in two of the matches being 6-4 and the third one not decided until a tiebreaker was played. The score in the tiebreaker was 10-8.

The second match of the year between the squads was another taught affair. Navy would narrowly win the doubles point through victories at the No. 1 (9-7) and No. 3 (9-8, 7-5 in the tiebreaker) flights. The third match between the teams was in a tiebreaker when it was stopped due to the doubles point being determined. The Mids then won a trio of straight set singles matches to close out the Raiders. Two of the other three matches were on the verge of heading into a third set, while the remaining match already was in a third set.

The Mids return Mark and Gaines, both of whom held 2-0 records in singles against the Raiders last year, and Daniel, who picked up a win during the regular season match against Colgate and was in a third set during the tournament meeting. Colgate's three returners from its singles lineups against Navy one year ago are Luke Gensburg, who lost twice to Mark, Bobby Berkowitz, who lost during the regular season meeting and was close to heading into a third set in the tournament match, and Nick Laub, who lost in a third-set tiebreaker in the former meeting and in straight sets in the latter match.

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