April 27, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - It will be familiar territory for the Army women's tennis team as the top-seeded Black Knights will play for a ninth-straight Patriot League crown after defeating No. 4 Colgate, 4-0, in Saturday afternoon's first semifinal match at Malek Courts. Sunday's championship match will feature Army against No. 2 Navy for the third year in a row.
The Black Knights started slow but later put on the gas in doubles to take a 1-0 lead on the match. Senior co-captain Erin Colton and junior Jamila Paul made quick work of Colgate's Alex Petrini and Lexi Lazares with an 8-1 win at No. 2. Junior Margaret Iliev and freshman Carolyn Pitman clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 victory in the third flight. Playing atop the lineup, Della and Elle Taylor held a 7-4 lead when play was called.
Momentum stayed with Army through singles play, as all of the Black Knights' wins came in straight sets. Rookie Eva Sung picked up her 18th win of the year and gave Army a 2-0 lead with a 6-0, 6-0 win against Kelsey Wanhainen on the third court.
The two-hour, 15-minute affair came to a close as freshman Gabriella Spindler extended her win streak to five matches with a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 5, followed quickly by Paul's match-clinching victory at No. 2. Paul blanked Petrini of Colgate and also stretched her win streak to five matches. Spindler and Paul lead the Black Knights with 25 and 24 singles wins the year, respectively.
With the match already in hand, Della Taylor collected a 6-1, 6-0 win over the Raiders' Katie Grant at No. 6 while the remaining two matches did not finish. Colton led Kelsey Shea 6-2, 4-0 at No. 1 and Pitman held a 6-2, 3-1 lead over Jennifer Ho in the fourth flight.
Navy defeated No. 3 Bucknell, 4-0, in Saturday's second semifinal, which set up the Army-Navy showdown for the 2013 Patriot League Championship. Sunday's title bout will take place at 1 p.m. at Malek Courts.
Match Notes: Army has won 13 Patriot League titles under head coach Paul Peck's watch ... the Black Knights swept Colgate, 7-0, on the road during the regular season ... the match was played in 60-degree temperatures and under sunny skies ... Erin Colton collected her 77th career doubles victory, which ranks seventh all-time at Army ... the Black Knights improved to 21-6 on the season, marking the sixth-straight year Army has reached the 20-win plateau.
#1 Army - 4
#4 Colgate - 0
- Della Taylor/Elle Taylor (A) led Kelsey Shea/Merideth Rock (C), 7-4 DNF
- Erin Colton/Jamila Paul (A) def. Alex Petrini/Lexi Lazares (C), 8-1
- Margaret Iliev/Carolyn Pitman (A) def. Jennifer Ho/Jackie Finn (C), 8-4
Order of finish: 2, 3
- Colton (A) led Shea (C), 6-2, 4-0 DNF
- Paul (A) def. Petrini (C), 6-0, 6-0
- Sung (A) def. Kelsey Wanhainen (C), 6-0, 6-0
- Pitman (A) led Ho (C), 6-2, 3-1 DNF
- Gabriella Spindler (A) def. Rock (C), 6-0, 6-0
- D. Taylor (A) def. Katie Grant (C), 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 3, 5, 2