March 20, 2014
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army women's tennis team gets Patriot League play underway with a trio of home matches this weekend. The Black Knights first welcome Lafayette and Holy Cross on Friday, March 21, at 1 and 4 p.m., respectively, before taking on Colgate Sunday at 9 a.m.
Picked to finish second in the 2014 Patriot League Preseason Poll, Army looks to extend its conference regular-season match win streak beyond 60 matches this weekend. Under veteran head coach Paul Peck's guidance, the Black Knights have not lost a regular-season league match since 2002.
Friday and Sunday also mark the official start of Army's quest for a15th Patriot League title and 10th in a row. The regular-season standings will determine seeding for the 2014 Patriot League Tournament, which is slated to be played April 18-20 at host Bucknell.
Army swept both Lafayette and Colgate, 7-0, last spring. The Black Knight defeated Holy Cross 6-1. The Black Knights own sizable leads in the all-time series with all three schools, leading Holy Cross 19-2, Lafayette 17-10 and Colgate 27-10. All four schools are charter members of the Patriot League.
Army brings a six-match win streak into this weekend's tests. Defending Patriot League Player of the Year senior Jamila Paul paces the Black Knights at No. 1 singles with an 18-6 overall mark this season. She is 8-2 in her last 10 matches, a mark bested only by sophomore Carolyn Pitman who is 9-1 in her last 10 outings. Pitman, a second team All-Patriot League performer a year ago, owns a 15-4 overall record and was named the conference's February Player of the Month.
Junior Elle Taylor's 19 total wins lead the team, while Paul, Pitman, Taler Brazell, Allyson Hayley, Hayley O'Connor, Maya Parker, Nancy Porter and Della Taylor have all reached the double-digit singles wins plateau. Playing atop the lineup, Taylor and older sister Della have teamed to go 12-8 in doubles action so far this season. Paul and Pitman lead the team with a 15-0 doubles mark at No. 2.
Lafayette enters Friday's Patriot League opener with a 1-1 overall mark this spring. The Leopards defeated St. Peter's 6-1 on March 1 and fell by the same score at Fairfield on March 8. The Leopards have been idle since that date.
Holy Cross brings a 0-3 record into Friday's match, a mark that includes a 7-0 loss at Boston University in the Crusaders' Patriot League opener on Feb. 20 in Boston, Mass.
Colgate is 5-5 entering Sunday's match with wins over Manhattan, Hartford, St. Bonaventure, University of Rochester (Division III) and SUNY Oneonta (DIII). The Raiders have dropped four of their last five matches will face Long Island on Friday night at Army.
Admission to all tennis matches is free. Match recaps can be found on goARMYsports.com on Friday and Sunday as soon as results become available.