WEST POINT, N.Y. – Lehigh made its first Patriot League tournament appearance since 2001, but the Mountain Hawks’ season came to an end as Army won the race to four with a 4-0 win Saturday in the Patriot League semifinals at the Malek Tennis Center. The top-seeded Black Knights won two doubles matches to claim the first point, then reeled off the first three singles wins to advance to tomorrow’s championship match. Lehigh’s season comes to an end at 13-7.
Army took a 1-0 lead in doubles, with Eddie Kang and Michael Good defeated Lehigh juniors Brad Nelson and Alfredo Fernandez-Concha 8-3 at second doubles and then Carl Fisher and John Houghton edging senior Randall Smalley and sophomore John Nespoli 8-6 at first doubles.
In singles play, the Black Knights picked up a second team point at fourth singles, where Kang handled Nelson 6-1, 6-1 and then a third point at sixth singles where Sean Harris defeated Mountain Hawks’ freshman Drew Balshi 6-0, 6-3. The clinching point came at second singles, where Houghton defeated junior Ryan Lloyd 6-4, 6-0.
The win propels Army (11-15) into Sunday’s championship match, where they will meet the winner of No. 2 American and No. 3 Navy at noon at Army’s Malek Tennis Center.
Army 4 Lehigh 0
1. Fisher/Houghton (A) def. Smalley/Nespoli (L) 8-6
2. Kang/Michael Good (A) def. Nelson/Fernandez-Concha (L) 8-3
3. K. Harris/S. Harris (A) vs. Balshi/Lloyd (L) 6-5, DNF
1. Carl Fisher (A) vs. Randall Smalley (L) 7-5, 4-1, DNF
2. Michael Houghton (A) def. Ryan Lloyd (L) 6-4, 6-0
3. Phil Muhawi (A) vs. Alfredo Fernandez-Concha (L) 7-6, DNF
4. Eddie Kang (A) def. Brad Nelson (L) 6-1, 6-1
5. Kevin Harris (A) vs. John Nespoli (L) 6-3, 4-1, DNF
6. Sean Harris (A) def. Andrew Balshi (L) 6-0, 6-3