BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh faced the tough task of opening up Patriot League play with the top two finishers from last season, and seven-time defending champion Army showed its strength with a 7-0 win over the Mountain Hawks Thursday on the Ulrich Varsity Courts. The Black Knights swept through all three doubles and all six singles matches to drop Lehigh to 3-12 overall and 0-2 in league matches.
Doubles play began with Army dropping just six games in sweeping the three matches. The Black Knights clinched the doubles point at the No. 3 flight, while Lehigh’s top team of sophomore Jenai Bilimoria had the closest match losing 8-4 to sisters Della and Elle Taylor.
Army (15-6, 2-0 PL) clinched the match with straight set wins at the bottom three flights. Farrell and senior Liz Piscitelli dropped their matches by identical 6-2, 6-2 scores at No. 2 and No. 3 singles respectively.
After dropping the first set 6-1, Bilimoria put forth an impressive battle in the second set of her No. 1 singles match with Erin Colton. Bilimoria was unable to capitalize on a 6-5 lead as Colton rallied to force a tiebreak and prevailed 7-2 in the tiebreak to complete the sweep for the Black Knights.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the courts on Saturday when they host Colgate at 10 a.m. The match will begin inside the Lewis Tennis Center before moving to the Ulrich Varsity Courts for singles play.
Army 7, Lehigh 0
1. Taylor/Taylor (Army) def. Bilimoria/Farrell (LU) 8-4
2. Colton/Paul (Army) def. Piscitelli/Drucker (LU) 8-0
3. Riney/Iliev (Army) def. Larkin/Sloand (LU) 8-2
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1
1. Erin Colton (Army) def. Jenai Bilimoria (LU) 6-1, 7-6 (2)
2. Jamila Paul (Army) def. Abby Farrell (LU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Natalie Allen (Army) def. Liz Piscitelli (LU) 6-2, 6-2
4. Margaret Iliev (Army) def. Kathleen Larkin (LU) 6-1, 6-0
5. Della Taylor (Army) def. Gabby Drucker (LU) 6-2, 6-0
6. Elle Taylor (Army) def. Emily Bruch (LU) 6-1, 6-0
Order of finish: 6, 4, 5, 2, 3, 1