Feb. 22, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army women's tennis will host a trio of opponents this weekend at Lichtenberg Tennis Center, beginning Friday with St. John's at 4 p.m., followed by Fairleigh Dickinson (8:30 a.m.) and Bryant (4 p.m.) on Saturday. The Black Knights (7-3) defeated all three opponents in dual matches last season at West Point.
Last Time Out
Army is coming off a 1-2 weekend which included a victory at home over St. Bonaventure (5-2) and road losses at Rutgers (5-2) and Massachusetts (6-1). The Black Knights' flawless home record remained intact at 7-0, but their road woes continues, falling to 0-3 away from Lichtenberg. Despite her seven-match winning streak coming to a close against the Minutewomen, freshman Natalie Allen secured her team-best 15th singles win of the season against the Scarlet Knights. With a doubles win over the Bonnies, juniors Morgen Kiser and Kari Pope improved to 4-0 on the year.
Calming The Storm
St. John's comes to West Point in search of its first win of the season as the Red Storm sport a 0-5 record. Most recently, SJU fell in its home opener to Howard 4-3 on Feb. 18. The Black Knights and Red Storm have been playing against each other since 1980, with Army leading the all-time series 19-8. The Black Knights have won the four most recent meetings (2011, '10, '09, '08), as SJU last defeated Army in 2006.
Nevena Selakovic has held down the No. 1 singles spot through all five dual matches this season, owning a 3-2 record. Selakovic faced Annie Houghton in last season's showdown against Army, losing at the No. 1 spot. She has teamed with Diamond Adams at No. 1 for all five doubles matches and will be in search of their first win of the season on Friday.
The Knightly News
Fairleigh Dickinson comes to West Point with a 4-4 record, most recently dropping a trio of matches against Ivy League foes at the ECAC Championships. The Knights lost to Yale (7-0), Darmouth (5-2), and Cornell (3-0) to drop their season record to .500.
The Army-FDU series dates back to 1988 with the Black Knights winning eight of the 10 showdowns, including last season's 4-3 triumph at West Point. The Knights last defeated Army in 2010, also by a 4-3 decision. Army and FDU faced each other throughout the fall tournament season in 2011-12, with the Black Knights leading the singles meetings 6-4, and each team coming away with a doubles victory.
Bring On The Bulldogs
Bryant travels to New York with just one match under its belt for the spring season, a 4-3 win over Seton Hall. Including fall dual matches, the Bulldogs are 4-1, with their lone setback coming in their season opener to Rhode Island on Sept. 14. Claudia Hidalgo has played at No. 1 singles in all five duals, owning a 1-4 mark. Hidalgo has teamed with Lucy Bird at No. 1 doubles for all but one match and boast a 3-1 record.
Saturday's match marks the third meeting in program history between Army and Bryant, with the Black Knights winning the first two matches with 7-0 sweeps. The two squads got a sneak peak of one another during the fall tournament season, splitting a pair of singles contests while Bryant won the lone doubles match.
The doubles point has set the tone for Army this season. The Black Knights are 7-0 when winning the doubles point and 0-3 when dropping the first point of the match. Army has swept all three contests on five occasions this season (Binghamton, Sacred Heart, Seton Hall, Stony Brook, Connecticut) and have been swept twice (at Boston University, at UMass). Sisterly duo Della Taylor and Elle Taylor lead the Black Knights with a 13-7 doubles mark this season and will look to end their three-match losing skid this weekend.
With the graduation of seven seniors last May, the Black Knights were forced to reload with a bunch of young talent. Freshmen Natalie Allen and Elle Taylor have battled their way into Army's starting lineup through the first 10 matches of the 2012 dual slate. With at least 17 dual matches remaining on the schedule, Allen is already making a run at the Army record book with her 15-6 singles record. The freshman is just nine wins shy of cracking the Black Knights' top-10 list for single-season wins. Taylor sports a 9-4 singles mark and a team-best 13-7 doubles record alongside older sister Della Taylor.
Army will travel to regional powerhouse Cornell on Feb. 29. The first serve is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., at Reis Tennis Center.