April 21, 2012
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Navy women's tennis team won a marathon doubles point, then cruised in singles play for a 4-0 victory over Bucknell in the Patriot League Semifinals on Saturday at Lehigh University.
Navy moves to 20-2 overall and advances to the Patriot League Championship match for the second straight season. Navy will face arch-rival Army, which defeated Navy in the finals a year ago, 4-0.
Navy had to battle the Bison almost two full hours to earn the doubles point by winning two-of-three matches. Navy took an early doubles lead when Darien Sears (So. / Silver Spring, Md.) and Dye Das (Jr. / Cherry Hill, N.J.) won at No. 3 doubles by an 8-5 margin. The duo ran its record to 7-2 overall and to 5-0 against Patriot League opposition.
After Bucknell won at No. 2 doubles to knot the doubles score at 1-1, Navy clinched the crucial doubles point with a 9-7 decision by Emani Decquir (Jr. / Sacramento, Calif.) and Stefanie Ton (Jr. / Milpitas, Calif.) at No. 1 doubles.
"I thought we did a great job battling for the doubles point. We had leads in all three matches, but Bucknell did a tremendous job of fighting back," said Navy head coach Keith Puryear. "We were able to refocus and earn the point at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles."
In Navy's regular-season, 5-2 win over Bucknell on March 24, the Midshipmen lost the doubles point. Today's result gave the Midshipmen momentum heading into singles play, where Navy closed out the match.
Sophomore Erin Snook (Tampa, Fla.) gave Navy a 2-0 match lead with a 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 4 singles over Daria Tuzhikova. Snook improved to 22-6 overall and 18-2 in dual-meet play this spring.
Decquir bumped the lead to 3-0 with a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Elena Vidrascu at No. 2 singles for her 19th win of the season. Decquir and Snook each won their 46th career match, the top mark in the Navy women's tennis record books.
Freshman Gabby Winter (Orlando, Fla.) then clinched the match at No. 5 singles with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Courtney Casey. The win was Winter's 24th of the season, tying a school record set last year by Snook and Sears.
Navy held a set advantage and was leading in the second set in the three matches that did not finish. Sears led at No. 1 singles (6-3, 3-2), Ton led at No. 3 singles (6-1, 3-1) and Noelle Kaufmann (Fr. / Westlake, Ohio) led at No. 6 singles (6-4, 4-2).
"We came out very strong in singles and kept the momentum going in each of the matches," said Puryear.
Navy and Army will now meet for just the second time in series history, both occurrences coming in the Patriot League finals.
"Tomorrow's match will be a great challenge for our young program. We are really looking forward to a very competitive match," said Puryear.
Action will get underway at noon at Lehigh University's Ulrich Varsity Courts. In the event of inclement weather, competition will be moved indoors to the Lewis Tennis Center, which is adjacent to the Ulrich Varsity Courts.
 Navy 4,  Bucknell 0
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1)
1) Decquir / Ton (Navy) d. Vidrascu / Tuzhikova, 9-7
2) Colvin / Casey (Bucknell) d. Kaufmann / Snook, 8-6
3) Das / Sears (Navy) def. Iepuras / Morgan, 8-5
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 2, 5)
1) Darien Sears (Navy) leading Dumitrita Iepuras (Bucknell), 6-3, 3-2 DNF
2) Emani Decquir (Navy) d. Elena Vidrascu (Bucknell), 6-0, 6-3
3) Stefanie Ton (Navy) leading Lydia Colvin (Bucknell), 6-1, 3-1 DNF
4) Erin Snook (Navy) d. Daria Tuzhikova (Bucknell), 6-1, 6-1
5) Gabby Winter (Navy) d. Courtney Casey (Bucknell), 6-2, 6-1
6) Noelle Kaufmann (Navy) leading Christie Schneider (Bucknell), 6-4, 4-2 DNF
# GO NAVY #