April 22, 2012
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Navy women's tennis team's quest for its first Patriot League championship came up short as Army stopped the Mids, 4-1, in the finals of Sunday's Patriot League Championship.
Navy ends the 2012 season with a 20-3 overall record and advanced to the league title match for the second straight season. Army won its eighth consecutive league title and reaches the NCAA Tournament with a 22-6 overall record.
"You have to give credit to Coach Paul Peck and the Army today. They were the better team. It was a very tight match throughout," said Navy head coach Keith Puryear, who ended the season just two wins shy of 500 for his career with 498. "The match literally came down to a few key points. I am proud of this team for the way they fought today and all year long. They have done an excellent job of representing the Naval Academy and all of the ideals we hold so dear."
Army opened the match by winning the crucial doubles point with victories at Nos. 1 and 3 to take a 1-0 match lead. Navy's Noelle Kaufmann (Fr. / Westlake, Ohio) and Erin Snook (So. / Tampa, Fla.) were leading at No. 2 doubles, 5-4, when the match was called off the court.
"Army came out strong at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles to clinch the doubles point, but I liked the way we came out in singles play. Erin played very solid tennis to win at No. 4 singles and Emani won the first set at No. 2 singles," said Puryear.
Erin Snook (So. / Tampa, Fla.) tied the match at 1-1 with an impressive 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 4 singles over Margaret Iliev. Snook closed out her sophomore season with a 23-6 record and now is Navy's career wins leader with 47 career victories.
However, Army came to back at No. 3 singles to take a 2-1 match lead and then clinched the match with a pair of three-set victories at Nos. 1 and 2 singles.
"After we fell behind 2-1, we subsequently lost two three-set matches, but if we could have gotten just one victory, that would have completely changed the complexion of the match," said Puryear. "Gabby (Winter) was in control of her match at No. 5 singles and Noelle (Kaufmann) had just started her match."
Winter was leading at No. 5 singles by a 6-1, 4-1 advantage and Kaufmann was on serve in the first set, trailing 4-3, when the matches were called off.
Just four courts were used today as Lehigh's indoor facility offers just four courts.
Navy reached the Patriot League finals for the second straight year and will return everyone for the 2012-13 season from this year's squad.
"We took huge strides this year. If we can continue to improve at the rate at which we have thus far, we will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come," said Puryear.
 Army 4,  Navy 1
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1)
1) D. Taylor / E. Taylor (Army) d. Decquir / Ton (Navy), 8-2
2) Kaufmann / Snook (Navy) led Colton / Paul (Army), 5-4 DNF
3) Iliev / Raney (Army) d. Das / Sears (Navy), 8-0
Singles (Order of Finish: 4, 3, 2, 1)
1) Erin Colton (Army) d. Darien Sears (Navy), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
2) Jamila Paul (Army) d. Emani Decquir (Navy), 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
3) Natalie Allen (Army) d. Stefanie Ton (Navy), 6-4, 7-5
4) Erin Snook (Navy) d. Margaret Iliev (Army), 6-2, 6-0
5) Gabby Winter (Navy) led Della Taylor (Army), 6-4, 4-1 DNF
6) Elle Taylor (Army) led Noelle Kaufmann (Navy), 4-3 DNF
# GO NAVY #