April 21, 2005
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The third-seeded Navy tennis team will square off
against nationally-ranked and second-seeded Army in the semifinal round
of the Patriot League Tournament, Saturday afternoon in Washington, D.C.
The winner of the match will advance to face the winner of the day's
first semifinal contest, top-seeded American vs. No. 4 Colgate, Sunday
at 12 noon in the championship match. The eventual tournament champion
will represent the Patriot League in the NCAA Tournament.
The two-day tournament currently is slated to be played outdoors at
Reeves Courts on the American campus, but will be moved to the Montclair
Country Club in Montclair, Va., should poor weather force a change to an
indoor site. If Saturday's matches are able to be played outside, the
American vs. Colgate match will be played at 10 a.m. with the Army-Navy
match to follow at 2 p.m. If poor weather requires the matches to be
played indoors, the start times for both semifinal matches will be moved
back one hour to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. Sunday's final will
be played at 12 noon regardless of the site.
"We are excited to be back in the playoffs again this year," said Navy
head coach John Officer. "We look forward to a rematch with Army. We
will need a very good effort from everyone to be successful.
"This Navy team has improved as the year has progressed and hopes to
peak at the right time."
American posted a 6-0 record during the league's regular season to earn
the right to play host to the tournament for the fourth-straight year.
Army, currently ranked 67th after reaching as high as 63rd this spring,
ended the regular season with a 5-1 record. The only blemish during
Army's league season was a 4-3 loss to American.
Navy ended the regular season with a 4-2 record against Patriot League
foes, with its two losses coming to American (6-1) and Army (4-3). The
Mids secured the third seed by posting a 4-3 win over Colgate Sunday
afternoon at the Severn Valley Tennis & Fitness Club. The Raiders were
3-3 during the league season, with losses coming to each of the three
other teams in the tournament.
Saturday's match will mark the ninth time Army and Navy have faced each
other in the league tournament, but just the second time the match has
taken place during the semifinal round. The two teams have split the
eight previous postseason meetings, with Army most recently winning a
semifinal match in 2003.
This year's regular season meeting between the service academies this
year took place April 10 in West Point. The Black Knights posted close
victories at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles to win the doubles point, then the
teams split the six singles matches to give Army its 4-3 win. Four of
the six singles matches were extended to three sets -- Navy won three of
the four -- with Army winning the remaining two matches in straight
Several Mids enter the postseason on winning streaks, with Adrian Lai
(So., Tucson, Ariz.) and Stanley Kahl (So., Richland, Pa.) leading the
team with five and four-straight wins, respectively. Lai ended the
regular season with a 5-1 record against Patriot League foes, while Kahl
was 4-1. Both Mids picked up singles victories over Army in the first
meeting of the year.
In doubles, Kahl and Nathan Malnati (So., Greeley, Colo.) have won
five-straight matches and posted a 4-2 mark against league foes this
spring, while Lai and team captain Davy Lee (Sr., Tulsa, Okla.) were
also 4-2 against the Patriot League.