Posted: February 12, 2006
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Lehigh battled the elements and two tough opponents on Sunday, as the Mountain Hawks split a pair of matches, falling to league rival Army 4-3 before blanking UConn 7-0 at the Lichtenberg Tennis Center. With near-blizzard conditions outside, the Brown and White battled the defending league champs valiantly, narrowly missing out on an upset, then rebounded to shut out UConn in their second match. Lehigh now stands at 2-1 on the season, 0-1 in Patriot League matches.
“I am really proud of the way our guys fought today,” said head coach Dave Shook. “It was tough to come so close to Army once again and come up short, but the guys came right back and did a great job against UConn. It was a tribute to their conditioning and dedication.”
The Mountain Hawks played a similar match with Army last year, losing 4-3 at the Ulrich Varisty Courts in Bethlehem.
On Sunday, Army put the first point on the board after taking two of the three doubles matches. Lehigh’s duo of senior Randall Smalley and John Nespoli did pick up an 8-6 win at first doubles for the Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh started singles play strong, with Smalley outlasting Army’s number one player Carl Fisher in three sets at first singles, including an 11-9 win in the marathon third set. Junior Alfredo Fernandez-Concha dropped the first set, but rallied to win the next two in a win over Eddie Kang at third singles. Nespoli picked up Lehigh’s third win, in straight sets over Kevin Harris. Lehigh needed just one more win to pull the upset, but could not muster wins at second, fifth and sixth singles.
Despite the loss and a quick turnaround, the Mountain Hawks took it to the Huskies, winning all three doubles matches and sweeping the six singles points. Coach Shook employed nearly the same line-up, with sophomore Brent Herbert stepping in to pick up a win at sixth singles.
Complete results from the UConn match are not presently available.
The Mountain Hawks return to the courts on Saturday, when Lehigh welcomes Monmouth and Stony Brook to the Lewis Tennis Center for a three-team meet that gets underway at 9:00 am.
Army 4 Lehigh 3
1. Smalley and Nespoli (L) def. Fisher and Mahawi (A) 8-6
2. Good and Kang (A) def. Lloyd and Nelson (L) 8-5
3. Houghton and Harris (A) def. Balshi and Fernandez-Concha (L) 8-3
1. Randall Smalley (L) def. Carl Fisher (A) 7-6, 4-6, 11-9
2. Phil Mahawi (A) def. Ryan Lloyd (L) 6-2, 7-6
3. Alfredo Fernandez-Concha (L) def. Eddie Kang 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. John Nespoli (L) def. Kevin Harris (A) 6-1, 6-2
5. David Collins (A) def. Brad Nelson (L) 6-3, 7-6
6. Sean Harris (A) def. Andrew Balshi (L) 6-0, 6-1
Lehigh 7 UConn 0
1. Smalley and Nespoli (L) def. Sato and Schueler (C) 8-2
2. Lloyd and Nelson (L) def. Helstowski and Joel Gamoran (C) 8-1
3. Fernandez-Concha and Herbert (L) def. Malerba and Michaels (C) 8-5
1. Randall Smalley (L) def. Sho Sato (C), 6-3, 6-2
2. Ryan Lloyd (L) def. Craig Helstowski (C), 6-4, 6-4
3. Alfredo Fernandez-Concha (L) def. Christian Malerba (C), 6-1, 6-2
4. John Nespoli (L) def. Ben Schueler (C), 6-1, 6-1
5. Brad Nelson (L) def. Joey Michaels (C), 6-1, 6-4
6. Brent Herbert (L) def. Jeff Klar (C), 3-6, 7-5 (n/a)