April 4, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's tennis team will travel to West Point, N.Y., this weekend to face Army in the annual Star Match between the teams. Sunday's 2 p.m. match is slated to be played outdoors at the Malek Courts, but will be moved indoors to the Lichtenberg Tennis Center in case of inclement weather.
"The Army-Navy rivalry has been very closely contested in recent years," said Navy head coach John Officer. "Both teams are playing well at this time. We need to handle the team momentum issues well and be very sharp in all other facets of the game. We will need to be very mentally tough and together throughout the match. We feel our tough schedule has prepared us for pressure tennis."
The Mids head to the Empire State with an overall record of 14-9 this season and a Patriot League record of 2-0. Included in Navy's ledger are three losses in its four matches that were decided by the score of 4-3 and a 0-6 record in matches played away from Annapolis.
Army enters Sunday's match on a five-match winning streak that has raised its record on the year to 13-5. The team's recent span of success includes victories over Patriot League-foes Lafayette, Holy Cross and Lehigh. Additionally on the year, the Black Knights have compiled a 12-1 record in home matches and have posted a 3-1 record in matches that have been decided by the final score of 4-3.
Navy won both of the matches it played against Army last season, with each match taking place in Annapolis. The Mids initially posted a 4-3 victory over the Black Knights in the Star Match before winning a 4-1 decision in the championship match of the Patriot League Tournament.
Army returns its entire seven-player lineup that faced Navy during the 2012 season, while the lineup used by the Mids in their most recent matches features just four of the seven players who took to the courts against the Black Knights a year ago.
Sunday's match figures to be another in a long run of tightly contested meetings between the teams.
The final score in the Star Match (league tournament matches are stopped when one team records its fourth team point) between the teams has been 4-3 in three-straight, seven of the last eight and 12 of the last 19 matches.
The team that has won the doubles point has gone on to win 23 of the last 26 matches played in the series. However, the team that lost the doubles point has rallied to win the overall match twice in the last five matches (Army in 2010, Navy in 2012).
The Mids have posted a 3-2 record against Army over the last three seasons. This includes a 2-0 record in the Patriot League Tournament and a 1-2 mark in Star Matches.
Navy had won three-consecutive matches over Army that were played at West Point until the Black Knights defeated the Mids at Malek Courts in 2011.