Van Velzer Clinches In Three Sets For Black Knights' First Win

Alex Van Velzer

Alex Van Velzer

Feb. 11, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army men’s tennis captured its first victory of the dual season with a 4-3 win over Stony Brook. The Black Knights relied on freshman Alex Van Velzer to clinch the match, winning in dramatic three-set fashion. Army improved to 1-2 on the season while the Seawolves dropped to 2-2.

Playing their first home match of the season, the Black Knights broke out to a 1-0 lead after capturing the doubles point. Brotherly duo Alex Van Velzer and Donald Van Velzer ended their three-match losing streak with an 8-4 victory over Stony Brook’s Nikita Fomin and Roope Kailaheimo.

Sophomore Rommel Verano and junior Alex Holland also secured their spring season win as a doubles pair, topping Max Sztabholz and Stefan Ilic, 8-5, at No. 3.

SBU’s top singles pair was forced to resign the match after Fomin suffered an injury. Fomin was slated to play No. 1 singles, but the Seawolves shuffled their lineup upward with Ryan Schmitz stepping in at No. 6.

Stony Book pulled ahead 2-1 after victories at No. 1 and 2 singles. Army freshman Peter Sienko knotted the match at 2-2 with a straight-set win at No. 6 singles. Sienko defeated Schmitz, 6-2, 6-4.

The Seawolves and Black Knights traded points at Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, leaving the decisive match in the hands of Army’s Alex Van Velzer and SBU’s Stefan Ilic. Ilic won the first set 6-3 before Van Velzer battled to a 7-5 win in the second. With the match on the line, Van Velzer pulled through, clinching the victory with a 6-4 win in the third set.

The win halted SBU’s three-match winning streak against Army and stretched the Black Knights’ all-time advantage to 19-4.

Army will have little time to celebrate its win as the Black Knights are slated for a doubleheader tomorrow. Army will host Connecticut at 9 a.m., before wrapping up the weekend against Vassar at 5 p.m. 

Army 4, SBU 3
1 Isoh/Jang-Milsten (A) def. Fomin/Bertrand, 5-6 (ret.)
2 A. Van Velzer/D. Van Velzer (A) def. Kailaheimo/Forai, 8-4
3 Holland/Verano (A) def. Sztabholz/Ilic, 8-5

1 Francis Bertand (SBU) def. Asika Isoh, 6-3, 6-3
2 Roope Kailaheimo (SBU) def. Donald Van Vezler, 7-6, 6-3
3 Alex Van Velzer (A) def. Stefan Ilic, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
4 Max Sztabholz (SBU) def. Alex Holland, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
5 Henry Jang-Milsten (A) def. Robert Forai, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4
6 Peter Sienko (A) def. Ryan Schmitz, 6-2, 6-4
Order of finish: 1, 2, 6, 4, 5, 3

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