April 28, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – After suffering a regular-season loss to Lehigh, the Army men’s tennis team picked a great time to exact its revenge. With a trip to the Patriot League Championship on the line, the third-seeded Black Knights earned a convincing 4-0 sweep of the second-seeded Mountain Hawks. Army will face No. 1 Navy on Sunday at 1 p.m., on the Midshipmen’s home courts in Annapolis.
Army (16-12) improved to 13-5 on the year when winning the doubles point after being the first to win two against Lehigh (13-8). Sophomores Asika Isoh and Henry Jang-Miltsen played to a quick 8-1 victory over Benjamin Gilman and Matt Savran at No. 1. The duo improved to 16-9 in duals and 21-14 overall. The win was the 17th of the dual season for Isoh, moving him to No. 8 on Army’s all-time single-season wins list, while Jang-Milsten jumps into a tie for 13th with his 16th victory.
Sophomore Rommel Verano and junior Alex Holland provided the clinching point, defeating Timur Chernykh and Andrew Krentz, 8-3, at No. 3. The pair, whose match went unfinished yesterday, improved to 12-8 this spring for the second-best mark on the team.
Army cruised to three singles wins to clinch the match, earning all three points in straight sets. Freshman Pete Sienko started things off for the second day in a row by knocking off Daniel Goldblum, 6-3, 6-1. Sienko captured Army's first singles point against Lafayette in yesterday's quarterfinal match as well. He moves to 15-10 this spring with the win.
Verano pushed the Black Knights’ lead to 3-0 after topping Krentz, 6-3, 6-4, before Isoh provided the match-clinching win at No. 1. Isoh topped Goldberg, 6-4, 6-2, for his team-leading 15th win of the spring and 21st victory overall.
Army improved to 7-0 against Lehigh in Patriot League Tournament matches and 40-3 overall in a series that dates back to 1924.
The Black Knights now look ahead to their match against Navy, who won the regular-season showdown in Annapolis, 4-3. Army and Navy have faced off in the Patriot League Championship match 11 times, most recently in 2010 at Bucknell. The Midshipmen lead the title-match series, 8-3, with the Black Knights earning victories in 2001, 2000 and 1995. The two academy rivals have fought for the league trophy in Annapolis on two occasions, with Navy winning both matches (2007, 1999).
Navy leads the all-time series 57-32. The Black Knights and Midshipmen have played both regular season and postseason matches against each other in the same year 13 times. The winner of the regular-season match has also won the tournament match on 10 of 13 occurrences.
Army will look to become the first No. 3 seed in Patriot League history to win the conference crown and accompanying NCAA Tournament bid. The Black Knights won the 2011 league championship as the No. 1 seed.
Since the Patriot League instituted the team format in 1994, Army has won the title seven times. The Black Knights also won the conference crown in 1990, 1992 and 1993 by tallying the most points in the individually flighted brackets.
No. 3 Army 4, No. 2 Lehigh 0
1. Isoh, Asika/Jang-Milsten, Henry (A) def. Gilman, Benjamin/Savran, Matt 8-1
2. Goldberg, Mark/Petersen, Mitchell (L) vs. Sienko, Peter/Van Velzer, Alex, 7-5 DNF
3. Holland, Alex/Verano, Rommel (A) def. Chernykh, Timur/Krentz Andrew 8-3
Order of finish: 1,3
1. Isoh, Asika (A) def. Goldberg, Mark 6-4, 6-2
2. Gilman, Benjamin (L) vs. Van Velzer, Alex 2-6, 6-2, 2-2, DNF
3. Holland, Alex vs. Petersen, Mitchell, 6-2, 6-5, DNF
4. Jang-Milsten, Henry (A) vs. Savran, Matt 6-3, 4-1, DNF
5. Verano, Rommel (A) def. Krentz, Andrew 6-3, 6-4
6. Pete Sienko (A) def. Goldblum, Daniel 6-3, 6-1
Order of finish: 6,5,1