April 11, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The annual Star match between the Army and Navy men's tennis teams will be held Saturday afternoon in Annapolis. It is hoped that the 1 p.m. match will be played outdoors on the USNA Tennis Courts, with the nearby Tose Family Tennis Center being utilized if weather or court conditions dictate a move indoors.
"We are always excited to play Army in the Star Match," said Navy associate head coach John Moreland. "It is always a physical, mental and emotional test and our team loves being part of America's best college sports rivalry. This has annually been a close and hard fought match and Saturday should not be an exception. We look forward to a great atmosphere provided by the fans of both schools and great tennis from all of the players."
Saturday's match between the Mids (15-8 overall, 2-1 in the Patriot League) and the Black Knights (15-4, 5-0) is expected to be another in a long line of close matches played by the teams over the years. The final score in the Star Match has been 4-3 eight times in the last nine years and 13 times over the last two decades.
The team that has won the doubles point has gone on to win 24 of the last 28 matches -- includes both Star and Patriot League Tournament matches -- played in the series. However, the team that lost the doubles point has rallied to win three times in the last seven matches: Army in the 2010 Star Match, Navy in the 2012 Star Match, Navy in the 2013 league tournament.
Navy holds a slight advantage in three-set singles matches played between the teams over the last nine years. Nearly half -- 24 of 54 -- of the singles matches played in the last nine Star Matches have been extended into three sets. The Mids hold a 13-11 edge in those three-set matches. Including Patriot League Tournament matches played between the teams over this same timespan, Navy players have won 17 of the 29 three-set singles matches that have been contested.
The Mids have posted a 4-3 record against the Black Knights over the last four seasons. This includes a 3-0 record in the Patriot League Tournament and a 1-3 mark in Star Matches. The final score in the Star Match in each of the last four years has been 4-3.
Navy holds a 59-33 lead in the all-time series with Army. This includes a 30-12 advantage in matches played in Annapolis. In Star Matches, Navy's lead is 49-28 in all and 26-12 when the match is contested in Annapolis.
Last year's Star Match at West Point saw Navy rally from a 3-0 deficit to tie the score before losing, 4-3. The teams would go on to meet 13 days later in the semifinal round of the league tournament in Syracuse, N.Y. The Mids would record a 4-3 win over the Black Knights that day to advance to the championship match of the event.
Each team returns the majority of its respective players who took to the courts in the 2013 matches played between the teams. The Mids return four of their six players who faced the Army last year, while the Black Knights return all but one player from their lineup that took on Navy a year ago.
Army and Navy have each recorded non-league wins this year over Monmouth and St. Bonaventure as well as a win over Lafayette. The Black Knights also have posted a victory over Colgate while the Mids dropped their match against the Raiders.