April 20, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy men's tennis team will close out its regular season Saturday when the Midshipmen play host to UMBC in Annapolis. The Noon match is currently scheduled to be played on the USNA's outdoor courts, but will be moved to the Tose Family Tennis Center should poor weather force it to instead be played indoors.
Navy improved its record to 16-7 on the season with a 4-3 victory over Army Saturday afternoon. The Mids won four singles matches after dropping the doubles point to rally for the victory. Clinching the match for Navy was Nicholas Gutsche (Jr., Sarasota, Fla.), who won a 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-2 decision at No. 5 singles in the last match of the day to be completed.
The victory also gave the Mids a 5-0 record against Patriot League foes this season and assured Navy of garnering the No. 1 seed in the Patriot League Tournament that will be contested April 27-29 in Annapolis. Navy will receive a quarterfinal round bye in the event by virtue of being the top-seeded team, which means the Mids will first take to the courts in the semifinal round that will be played on Saturday the 28th.
UMBC has posted an 8-9 record this spring. The two teams faced each other during the Navy Gold Invitational this past fall, with the Mids winning all three doubles matches and five of the six singles matches that were played that day.
The final score in four of the last five spring dual matches between the Mids and the Retrievers has been 4-3. Navy defeated UMBC by that count in 2007 and `09, with the Retrievers posting 4-3 wins over the Mids in both 2008 and `10. Last year's match saw UMBC tally a 4-0 win over Navy in a match played in Baltimore.
"UMBC is a very talented team and we will need to be ready," said Navy head coach John Officer. "They beat us last year, so we are eager to get back on the court with them."
The Navy team will honor Marcus Rebersak (Pittsburgh, Pa.), the lone senior on the squad, prior to the start of Saturday's match. A four-year member of Navy's starting lineup, Rebersak is playing No. 1 singles this season after primarily playing at the No. 2 flight in each of his first three seasons.
"This Saturday being senior day for Marcus makes the match extra special," said Officer. "Marcus has had a great year in the Patriot League this season with his posting a 4-1 record in singles. He has done a great job of leading a very young team to an undefeated record in the league and the top seed in next week's league tournament."