April 5, 2014
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -
The Navy women's tennis team (17-7, 2-1 PL) was narrowly edged out by Army (19-2, 5-0 PL), 4-3, in the Star Match at the USNA Dyer Tennis Courts on Saturday afternoon. Over 200 fans packed the facility to watch the first women's tennis Star Match to be played in Annapolis.
"We fought hard, like we have all season long," said head coach Keith Puryear. "We never gave in. I'm really proud of the efforts that the ladies put in. Army gives you nothing. They do a good job of extending points and making you play. I thought we really stuck in there but we still have things we need to do better like executing and taking the really critical points."
Army opened the day by winning the doubles point, which proved to be critical as each team won three singles matches.
Navy senior Darien Sears and sophomore Sam Droop defeated Margaret Iliev and Maya Parker, 8-2, at No. 3 doubles before Army sisters Della and Elle Taylor defeated junior Noelle Kaufmann and sophomore Mikaela Carlson at No. 1 doubles, 8-5.
The doubles point came down to the No. 2 slot where Navy senior Erin Snook and sophomore Katie Porter battled Army's Jamila Paul and Carolyn Pitman. The match was tied at 3-3 before Army won four games in a row to pull ahead, 7-3. Navy fought back to make the match 7-6, but Army eventually clinched the doubles point with an 8-6 win.
"The difference came down to the doubles point and we did have opportunities in the two doubles matches that we lost," said Puryear.
Navy would even the score at 1-1 when Droop knocked off Spindler in straight sets at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 6-3. Droop improved to 18-10 on the season and is 14-3 in dual play.
"I'm really proud of Sam," Puryear said. "She played a solid match and she served really well today."
Army then took the 2-1 lead when Pitman defeated Sears at No. 2 singles, 6-3, 6-4.
Army then clinched the match by winning at No. 6 and No. 5 singles to pull ahead, 4-1. At No. 6 singles, Nancy Porter defeated Kaufmann, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 and Elle Taylor bested sophomore Logan Antill at No. 5, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1).
With the match already decided, junior Gabby Winter picked up the win at No. 4 over Della Taylor, 4-6, 6-4, 3-0 (retired), and Snook outlasted Paul at No. 1 singles, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. It was a battle of two of the Patriot League's top players between Snook and Paul as both were named to the all-conference first team last year.
Army now has a 2-0 lead in the Star series.
Navy will return to action on Sunday at 2:30 PM against Lafayette at the Fluegel-Moore Tennis Stadium at the Brigade Sports Complex.
Army defeats Navy, 4-3
Doubles - Army wins the doubles point, 2-1 (Finish: 3,1,2)
No. 1 Della Taylor / Elle Taylor (A) def. Noelle Kaufmann / Mikaela Carlson, 8-5
No. 2 Jamila Paul / Carolyn Pitman (A) def. Erin Snook / Katie Porter, 8-6
No. 3 Darien Sears / Sam Droop (N) def. Margaret Iliev / Maya Parker, 8-2
Singles (Finish: 3,2,6,5,4,1)
No. 1 Erin Snook (N) def. Jamila Paul, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
No. 2 Carolyn Pitman (A) def. Darien Sears, 6-3, 6-4
No. 3 Sam Droop (N) def. Gabby Spindler, 6-4, 6-3
No. 4 Gabby Winter (N) def. Della Taylor, 4-6, 6-4, 3-0 (retired)
No. 5 Elle Taylor (A) def. Logan Antill, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1)
No. 6 Nancy Porter (A) def. Noelle Kaufmann, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2