Men's Tennis to Close Regular Season Saturday
April 18, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's tennis team will conclude its regular season Saturday when the Mids play host to Lehigh in Annapolis. The 1:30 p.m. match is slated to be played outdoors on the USNA Tennis Courts, but will be moved indoors to the Tose Family Tennis Center should poor weather force a change in venue.
Navy saw its record on the year fall to 15-9 overall and 2-2 against Patriot League opponents when the Mids dropped a 4-3 decision to Army Saturday on The Yard. Navy won the doubles point from the Black Knights, but Army rallied to win four singles matches to come away with the win and remain perfect -- 6-0 -- in league matches this spring.
The match marked the fifth year in a row, the ninth time in the last 10 seasons and the 14th time in the last 21 years in which the final score of the Star Match between the teams has been 4-3.
"We are looking to bounce back after a very tough, emotional and hard fought match against Army," said Navy associate head coach John Moreland. "The team performed well and played its best doubles of the season, but came up a few points short in singles from clinching the match."
Austin Jones (So., Dallas, Texas) recorded a pair of victories during the match against the Black Knights. He first teamed with Thomas Pecor (Fr., Houston, Texas) to post an 8-1 win at No. 1 doubles against the tandem of Harrison McCormick and Grant Riechmann, then rallied for a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Sam Lampmann at No. 2 singles. The victories improved his combined singles and doubles record against league opponents this year to 6-2.
Earning Navy's other singles win against the Black Knights was Calvin Mark (Jr., Union City, Calif.), who notched a 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 victory over Asika Isoh at No. 1 singles. The win was Mark's 56th career singles victory, a tally that ranks 18th in school history. He also is tied for 11th place at Navy with 54 career doubles wins and ranks ninth with a combined 110 singles and doubles victories.
"The play of Calvin and Austin has been really strong, of late" said Moreland. "They both have broken the 20-win plateau for the year and have been two guys we can count on every time out. Calvin has won two of his three career matches with Army's two-time Patriot League Player of the Year (Isoh), and 10 matches in a row in doubles alongside Blake Daniel (Jr., Overland Park, Kan.). Austin is also in fine form with having won 21 matches. Both look to build upon their success in the Army-Navy match as we take on Lehigh this weekend."
Lehigh has posted a 10-6 record this year, which includes a 2-1 mark against league foes. Both the Mids and the Mountain Hawks have suffered losses to Army and defeated Bucknell, while Lehigh recorded a win over Colgate and Navy lost to the Raiders.
Lehigh recorded a pair of victories over Navy during the 2013 season. The Mountain Hawks first tallied a 5-2 win over the Mids during the regular season before notching a 4-0 victory in the championship match of the Patriot League Tournament.
"Saturday's match will be another tough test," said Moreland. "Lehigh returns senior Mark Goldberg to their lineup, which makes them much tougher. We expect another close match Saturday as we had last year.
"It is a very important match to set ourselves up heading into the league tournament. You always want to conclude the regular season with a win and head into the league tournament with confidence. This match also has major seeding implications. It will be very important to come out with the victory to set us up with the confidence and seeding that will afford us the opportunity to win another Patriot League title."