BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Riding a two-match win streak, the Lehigh men’s tennis team will travel to Easton Wednesday, as the Mountain Hawks face archrival Lafayette in the regular season finale for both teams. Lehigh is cemented in second place in the Patriot League standings and will look for a strong showing in in final tune-up before the league tournament this weekend at Navy.
The match was originally scheduled for Monday but has now been postponed twice, first to Tuesday and now an extra day, to Wednesday.
The Mountain Hawks (11-7, 3-1 PL) picked up crucial Patriot League victories last week against Army and Bucknell to climb the standings to their current spot. In both matches, Lehigh earned five singles points after dropping the doubles point to both the Black Knights and the Bison. The Mountain Hawks beat Army for the first time in 26 years and Bucknell for the first time since 2006.
Against Army, the top five singles players all earned two set victories, taking four straight points after the Black Knights gained an early 2-1 edge. Those same five players also earned victories against Bucknell two days later, despite again falling behind early.
Sophomore No. 1 singles player Mark Goldberg continues to improve in the top-flight singles spot, having battled to a 7-7 record, including 2-2 in the Patriot League, while facing the opposition’s top players.
Freshman Ben Gilman continues to find success in the No. 2 role, as he is now 14-3 overall and 3-1 in league-play in the second position. Gilman also competes on the top doubles pair with junior Matt Savran.
The Mountain Hawks have not earned a point in doubles since April 7 when they swept the doubles matches against Colgate in their first Patriot League victory.
The Leopards (3-10, 1-4 PL) have cooled off of late, dropping their last five matches after a 2-0 fall and a 2-2 start to the spring. Lafayette has not seen match action since April 15 due to the cancellation of a match against Fordham last week. In its last outing, Lafayette was upended at home by Bucknell, 6-1.
Lehigh won last year’s match 7-0 at the Lewis Tennis Center, and the Mountain Hawks have won five of the last six matches in the series.
Wednesday’s match is set for a 3:30 p.m. start from Lafayette’s Sullivan Tennis Courts. After Wednesday’s action, the team will set its sights on the Patriot League Tournament, April 27-29 on the Naval Academy Tennis Courts in Annapolis, Md. Lehigh reached the finals last year and is expected to be the No. 2 seed at this year’s tournament.
Story by Gordon Stevenson '12