Tennis Players, Gymnast Share AAA Weekly Honors

Caison Best

Caison Best

April 8, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. – For the fifth time this academic year, the Army Athletic Association named multiple recipients of the Athlete of the Week honor following an impressive week of Black Knight performances. For their roles in defeating Navy in their respective Star Matches, freshman women’s tennis player Carolyn Pitman and fellow plebe on the men’s side Caison Best were selected, while junior gymnast Kip Webber was tabbed after being crowned an ECAC Champion.

A rookie out of West Chester, Ohio, Pitman was perfect in singles and posted a 1-1 doubles mark in two matches last week. Included in those bouts was the inaugural Army-Navy Star Match in which she helped the Black Knights win 6-1 and a 4-3 win over Long Island. Pitman played at No. 4 singles in both matches last week and won in straight sets. She defeated Navy’s Logan Antill, 6-4, 6-2, to secure the first singles point of the match in Army’s favor. The victory extended Pitman’s singles win streak to a team-best eight matches.

In doubles, she teamed with junior Margaret Iliev in both contests. The pair won at No. 3 doubles opposite the Mids and was the first to finish with a decisive 8-4 victory. Pitman and Iliev have won six of their last seven doubles tests.

Best, out of Nashville, Tenn., provided Army’s match-clinching point in dramatic fashion against Navy on Sunday afternoon at Lichtenberg Tennis Center. The Black Knights had built up a 3-0 lead before the Midshipmen won three straight singles matches to knot the score 3-3, leaving Best and Navy freshman Austin Jones to duke it out for match point. Each had won a set, with Best striking first, 6-4, before Jones battled back in the second, 7-5.

With each player holding serve, it appeared as if whoever broke the other first would claim the match. Best achieved that feat, breaking Jones in the 10th game of the third set to clinch the match, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, and the Gold Star for the team, 4-3.

Webber tied for medalist honors in all-around at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Springfield College Friday evening, and the next night copped the bronze in floor exercise (14.6) and still rings (14.45) in the individual finals.

Webber and William & Mary’s Daniel Potemski tied for the all-around title compiling identical scores of 82.85. Webber, 13th nationally in all-around, was third in Friday’s prelims on still rings (14.6) and floor exercise (tied-14.6), tied for eighth on parallel bars (13.6), shared 10th  in high bar (13.75) and was 13th on vault (14.1) in turning in his top all-around scores.  Webber is also ranked 26th in still rings and 40th in floor exercise.

The native of Boxborough, Mass., is the fourth Black Knight to capture an ECAC all-around title and first since Army Hall of Famer Steve Marshall accomplished that feat in 1995. Austin Betts was Army’s first champion in 1934 followed by Robert Sears in 1939. Webber’s AAA weekly award is his second of the season and career third.

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