Men's Tennis Opens League Play With Sweeps of Lafayette and Holy Cross

Pete Williams

Pete Williams

Feb. 26, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army men’s tennis opened Patriot League play in convincing fashion on Sunday, sweeping both Lafayette and Holy Cross with 7-0 decisions. The Black Knights improved to 6-5 on the season, including a 5-1 clip on their home courts at Lichtenberg Tennis Center.

The two conference victories stretch Army’s win streak against Patriot League foes to 10 matches. The Black Knights went 6-0 in the 2011 regular season and added a pair of tournament wins to claim the conference crown.  

Coming off a 7-0 loss to Columbia the day before, Army rebounded by winning all 18 matches contested, including 11 singles battles in straight sets. The Black Knights spread the wealth by utilizing 12 different singles players and five different doubles pairs.

In the first match of the day opposite the Leopards (0-2, 0-1 PL), sophomore Asika Isoh teamed with junior Rashad Shelton for the first time in their careers, defeating Doug Gallagher and Andrew Morris, 8-6, at the No. 1 spot. Isoh then clinched his team-best 11th singles victory on the year, defeating Gallagher, at No. 1, 6-0, 6-3. Shelton also collected a singles win, topping Scott Gelbman, 7-5, 6-2, at No. 5. Shelton jumped to 3-0 in duals this spring.

Against Holy Cross, junior Alex Holland and sophomore Rommel Verano earned their second doubles win of the day, knocking off Nick Berrettini and Ryan Sullivan, 8-0, at No. 1. Holland and Verano sport a 7-6 record on the year.

In singles play, freshman Alex Van Velzer became the second Black Knight to move into double-digit wins by defeating Berrettini, 6-1, 6-1, at the No. 1 spot. Van Velzer is now 10-12 on the year, including 6-4 in duals.

Army improved to 33-3-2 all-time against Lafayette and 16-0 against the Crusaders. Holy Cross remains one of five teams the Black Knights have faced more than 10 times in history and have never lost to.

Next on the schedule for the Black Knights is a road match at Penn State on March 3. The first serve is slated for 10 a.m., in University Park, Pa.

Army 7, Lafayette 0
Doubles
1. Asika Isoh/Rashad Shelton (A) def. Gallagher/Morris, 8-6
2. Peter Sienko/Alex Van Velzer (A) def. Ipeker/Gelbman, 8-7(7-1)
3. Alex Holland/Rommel Verano (A) def. Goldstein/Mercorella, 8-3
Singles
1. Asika Isoh (A) def. Doug Gallagher, 6-0, 6-3
2. Alex Holland (A) def. Brandon Goldestin, 6-2, 6-1
3. Rommel Verano (A) def. Sinan Ipeker, 6-3, 6-1
4. Peter Sienko (A) def. Will Mercorella, 6-2, 6-1,
5. Rashad Shelton (A) def. Scott Gelbman, 7-5, 6-2
6. Roman Cacha (A) def. Andrew Morris, 6-3, 6-0

Army 7, Holy Cross 0
Doubles

1. Rommel Verano/Alex Holland (A) def. Nick Berrettini/Ryan Sullivan, 8-0
2. Peter Sienko/Rashad Shelton (A) def. Scot Brownell/Tim Regan, 8-3
3. Andrew Clark/Pete Williams (A) def. Chris Das/Chris Brosnan, 8-3
Singles
1. Alex Van Velzer (A) def. Berrettini , 6-1, 6-1
2. Henry Jang-Milsten (A) def. Sullivan, 6-4, 6-4
3. Rashad Shelton (A) def. Das, 6-0, 6-1
4. Pete Williams (A) def. Regan, 6-1, 6-2
5. Andrew Clark (A) def. Brosnan, 6-0, 6-0
6. Joshua Cook (A) def. Brownell, 6-0, 6-2

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