April 2, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army men’s tennis hosted Fairleigh Dickinson in one final tune-up match prior to its service academy showdown with Navy on Sunday. Hoping to play outside, the squads were forced indoors into Lichtenberg Tennis Center due to chilly temperatures and strong winds. Despite the disappointment, the Black Knights battled to a 4-3 victory on Tuesday afternoon.
Army (13-5) claimed the decisive doubles point from the Knights (5-5) after sophomore Peter Sienko and junior Henry Jang-Milsten defeated Yuri Gricheno and Markus Sjoberg, 8-3, at No. 3, followed by the clinching point at No. 2. Senior Rashad Shelton and freshman Austin McCasin topped Mark Hemy and Peter Skvarka, 8-4, for their ninth win of the spring.
The Black Knights went ahead 2-1 after Shelton earned a straight-set win over Ibrahim Shams, 6-2, 6-3, at No. 2, before McCasin pushed Army to the brink of clinching with a 6-1, 7-6 victory over Sjoberg at No. 6.
FDU closed the gap to 3-2 after Jang-Milsten fell at No. 5, followed by sophomore Alex Van Velzer retiring with an injury in his singles contest at No. 3.
With the match on the line, freshman Harrison McCormick and Hemy battled at No. 4, with Hemy winning the first set, 6-3, before McCormick responded with a 6-4 second-set win. McCormick dominated the third set to clinch the win for the Black Knights with a 6-3 victory in the decisive third set.
Army will play its final home match of the 2013 season on Sunday when the Black Knights host Navy in the annual Star Match. Army will recognize its two senior members of the roster, Shelton and Alex Holland, prior to the first serve which is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Midshipmen are 14-9 this season and defeated the Black Knights twice in 2012. Army last defeated Navy on April 9, 2011, in the most recent Star Match played at West Point.