WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army men’s tennis will open its eight-event fall schedule on Friday at the Stony Brook Invitational. The two-day tournament will pit the Black Knights against opponents from Quinnipiac, Wagner, Bowdoin, Stevens Tech, Hamilton, Concordia and the host Seawolves.
Army returns 10 letterwinners from a year ago, including reigning Patriot League Player of the Year Asika Isoh. Playing exclusively at the No. 1 spot, the rising junior went 15-8 in dual matches and was a team-best 21-13 overall. Isoh and his doubles partner and classmate, Henry Jang-Miltsen, registered an Army-best doubles wins total as well with a 21-15 mark.
Isoh was one of three members of the second-place Army squad to garner All-Patriot League honors in 2012. Rising sophomores Alex Van Velzer and Pete Sienko were named to the first and second team, respectively, and also return to the fold in 2012-13.
Despite only graduating three from last season’s roster, 11th-year head coach Jim Poling brought in nine freshmen, including a trio of four-star recruits as well as two plebes with older brothers on the roster. Caison Best, Austin McCasin and Daniel Shutov all boast four-star rankings, while Ron Verano and Samuel Jang-Milsten will join older brothers Rommel and Henry, respectively.
Senior Alex Holland, one of two four-year members on the squad (along with Rashad Shelton), will lead the Black Knights as the team’s captain this season. Holland totaled a 7-17 singles mark last spring and a 15-9 doubles record, which included 13 victories at the No. 3 spot.
This weekend’s competition is the first of eight tournament slated for the fall schedule. All eight events will be played away from the friendly confines of the Academy and will take Army as far away as Alabama. Following the SBU tournament, the Black Knights will compete at the USTA Collegiate Invitational on the courts of the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. (Sept. 22-23). Army will then hit the road for Philadelphia, Pa., for the St. Joseph’s Invitational Sept. 29-30, before splitting the squad between the Yale Shootout and the Dartmouth Shootout, Oct. 5-7.
Army will then send its top performers to the ITA Regional Championships, hosted by Yale, Oct. 18-21, followed by another Ivy League-hosted event with the Harvard Halloween Invite, Oct. 28-30. The Black Knights will conclude the tournament schedule in Tuscaloosa, Ala., when they travel to the Alabama Open Tournament, Nov. 2-4.