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Women's Tennis

Navy Women Earn Tennis Star

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy women's tennis team rallied from a match down to win the doubles point, prior to taking three of the four singles contests to secure a 4-1 victory over rival Army in Saturday's Star Match held at the Tose Family Tennis Center.  

Navy has now won two of the last three Star Matches against the Black Knights, along with securing victories in three of the last five meetings between the two service academies.
Kacey Moore paced the Midshipmen effort against Army, teaming up with Samantha Johns to earn a two-point win at the No. 3 doubles, prior to clinching the match for the Mids with a straight-set victory in the No. 2 singles competition over the Black Knights' Caroline Vincent (6-1, 7-5). Additionally, with her singles win over Vincent, Moore moved into a tie for the fourth-most career singles victories in program history (68).
"I think I can speak for Coach Ale (Pedergnana) on this one, we are really pleased for the team," said head coach Keith Puryear. "The ladies have worked so hard to represent the Naval Academy and our team in a positive way, they make tremendous sacrifices to do that, I am so happy for them."
"Also, our seniors have been the heart and soul of this program since they stepped foot on campus," Puryear continued in regard to his senior class of Moore, Katreina Corpuz and team captain Meghana Komarraju. "All three of them have started since they were plebes, and this was the first year we were able to host an N-Star match for them. To get a win in their first and only N-Star match to be held here at the academy, I'm so happy for them. I know how much they've wanted it, not just for themselves and the team, but for the Naval Academy itself. Those three, and our team in general, wanted to show the academy what Navy's women's tennis is all about."
A raucous, capacity crowd filled the Tose Family Tennis Center in what proved to be an action-filled Star Match. The Black Knights struck first to open doubles play, as the No. 1 pairing of Vincent and Stephanie Dolehide defeated Corpuz and Komarraju (6-1), to put Army on the brink of taking an early advantage over the Mids.
However, the Midshipmen responded by evening the ledger at one match apiece when Moore and Johns defeated the Black Knights' Paola Bou and Sophie McKenzie (6-4) in the No. 3 match.
The doubles point and an early 1-0 lead would fall in favor of Navy just moments later, as Casey Accola and Emily Tannenbaum earned a two-point decision of their own at the No. 2 doubles (6-4) against Paige Herremans and Cooper Jackson.
"They (Army) have won two of the last three Patriot League titles for a reason, so we knew they weren't going to give us anything today," said Puryear on the effort of the Black Knights. "Meghana (Komarraju) and Kat (Corpuz) came out very quickly, but they had a couple of opportunities that they weren't able to take advantage of. They were up in a couple of the games, but ended up losing them and it turned the momentum in Army's favor. It was pretty tight early on. That ultimately made it come down to the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.
"At the No. 2 doubles, I thought they (Casey Accola and Emily Tannenbaum) did the reverse of what happened with Kat and Meghana. They played a little nervous in the first and second game, but they did a good job of getting the break back and working their way back into the match. What I really liked was that they didn't get despondent, they just kept plugging away and stayed with the game plan until they were able to close it out. At No. 3, Kacey (Moore) and Sam (Johns) had actually played a lot together last year, but really hadn't teamed up at all this year. They did a really good throughout their match, finishing promptly kept the pressure on Army's No. 2 team, that helped lead to picking up the win at the No. 2 position."
After falling behind to Navy in doubles, Army quickly responded in singles with its second victory of the competition, a straight-set decision in favor of Herremans over Accola (6-4, 6-1) in the No. 6 match to even the score a 1-1.
The Midshipmen responded back just moments later at the No. 3 position, taking a 2-1 lead over the Black Knights, as Komarraju defeated Jackson in straight sets (6-3, 6-3), prior to adding another point to their ledger at the No. 4 position as Corpuz downed Bou (6-2, 6-3) to put the Mids on the brink of victory.
The Star and a three-point win over Army would be secured in favor of Navy in the No. 2 match, as Moore earned a straight-set win over Vincent (6-1, 7-5). The senior opened the match with a five-point decision in the first set, before erasing a five-point deficit in the second game to secure match victory for the Mids.
"In singles, I thought Meghana and Kat did a great job of righting the ship and played very good, solid tennis to get wins at three and four," Puryear remarked of the bounce-back effort from Corpuz and Komarraju in singles. "Kacey (Moore) was a warrior today, she won the first set, before (Caroline) Vincent did a really good job of changing momentum in the second set and actually ended up serving for the set. Kacey did a really good job of going back to the original game plan that we had in the first set and slowly kept working her way back."
Two singles matches, the No. 1 and No. 5 contests, would go unfinished as Tannenbaum and Stella Ribaudo went without decisions, despite both putting forth admirable efforts in their respective contests.
Tannenbaum took the first set of the No. 1 competition, 6-4, prior to battling back against Dolehide in the second set to take a 6-5 lead after trailing by two points earlier in the game. Ribaudo fell in the first set of the No. 5 competition, 7-5, prior to bouncing back with a 6-4 decision over Justine Dondonay in the second game to force a third and deciding set. The contest ultimately went unfinished with Dondonay leading by two points in the third set.

"Those that I mentioned were all our victories, but this was a total-team effort for us," remarked Puryear of the remaining singles matches. "I thought Stella (Ribaudo) did a really good job, she had some opportunities to stretch her lead out the first set but wasn't able to do so, but bounced back to win the second game to force a third set. Casey (Accola) had a tough first set, second set Paige (Herremans) did a good job of taking momentum she gained to close out that match.
"Emily (Tannenbaum) did a great job of stepping into the No. 1 spot as a plebe, that's a big deal and a big ask, against Dolehide who is an All-Patriot League performer. She performed admirably, but Dolehide did a good job of fighting and getting things back before the match was decided with Kacey (Moore)."