WEST POINT - Head coach Paul Peck knew that Saturday's match would be a dog fight and it turned out, the 10-time Patriot League Coach of the Year was correct as Army battled Stony Brook to the end before falling 4-3 in non-conference women's tennis action at Lichtenberg Tennis Center.
In a match that took well over four hours to complete, the score seesawed throughout the afternoon. For the second year in a row, the Seawolves came out on top of a 4-3 score in the end.
Starting the day strong, Army won the doubles point as junior Anne Houghton and senior Kristin Beehler beat Paola Ridolfi and Prerana Appineni (8-4) in the top spot and juniors Michael Tollerton and Robie Verano pulled out an 8-5 victory against Katherine Hanson and Gayatri at No. 3. The Black Knights' lone doubles loss came in a dramatic 8-7 (3) tiebreaker score at No. 2. Freshman Erin Colton and junior Annie Hang suffered their first setback of the season.
Stony Brook took the first two singles matches to jump ahead by a 2-1 score. Houghton's straight-set win (6-4, 6-3) over Rodolfi in the top flight leveled the score at 2-all. The Seawolves surged ahead again (3-2) as Appineni outlasted Colton in the No. 2 slot in a 7-6 (1), 6-3 decision.
Beehler kept Army in the match as her 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory at No. 3 tied the match, 3-3, and it all came down to junior Jessica Ahn and Pieschl at No. 4. The pair fought point-for-point for over three hours, but it was Pieschl holding off a valiant comeback effort from Ahn to take a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 decision.
Army, which dropped to 2-3 on the season, looks to bounce back with a pair of Valentine's Day matches at Lichtenberg Tennis Center. The Black Knights open the day against Connecticut at 9 a.m. and follow with a dual opposite Fordham at noon.
Stony Brook - 4
Army - 3
1. Anne Houghton/Kristin Beehler (A) def. Paola Rodolfi/Prerana Appineni (S), 8-4
2. Anna Pieschl/Salome Mkervalidze (S) def. Erin Colton/Annie Hang (A), 8-7 (3)
3. Michael Tollerton/Robie Verano (A) def. Katherine Hanson/Gayatri Krishnan (S), 8-5
1. Anne Houghton (A) def. Paola Ridolfi (S), 6-4, 6-3
2. Prerana Appineni (S) def. Erin Colton (A), 7-6 (1), 6-3
3. Kristin Beehler (A) def. Katherine Hanson (S), 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
4. Anna Pieschl (S) def. Jessica Ahn (A), 6-1, 4-6, 7-5
5. Gayatri Krishnan (S) def. Michael Tollerton (A), 6-4, 6-2
6. Nini Lagvilava (S) def. Robie Verano (A), 6-1, 6-3
Order of finish: 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4