WEST POINT, N.Y. – After getting multiple looks at the Black Knights during last week’s Cornell Invitational, the Seton Hall women’s tennis team traveled to West Point on Saturday to take on eight-time defending Patriot League champions Army in their first dual match of the spring.
With two players battling injuries, the Pirates relinquished two points due to forfeit, ultimately dropping a 5-2 decision.
Despite one-half of SHU’s top duo not being at full strength, doubles aces Chloe Sher (Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong) and Rocio Portela (Demetrio Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) took the first step towards replicating their unparalleled run of 13-straight victories in 2012, handing Army’s #1 pair of Della and Elle Taylor a decisive 8-3 defeat.
The win came despite Portela battling an ailment that would later force her to retire after just the first set of her #2 singles match. Freshman Julia Keenan (Greenland, N.H.) was also forced to bow out down a set in #3 singles.
The Black Knights came out on top in the other two team matches to claim the doubles point.
Sher went on to best Erin Colton from the top singles spot, outlasting Army’s #1 in a three-set affair. The SHU junior took the first set, 6-1, before falling in the second, 3-6. In the decisive frame, the Hong Kong native made the key shots needed to secure a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory. With 11 wins already in 2012-13, Sher is tied for the team lead with Keenan and well on her way to a third consecutive 20-win season.
Freshman Alex Landert (Naples, Fla.) also scored a three-set singles victory for The Hall, displaying the resolve that has been lauded by head coach Greg Wyzykowski all season. After faltering in the first set of her #4 singles match against Della Taylor, Landert rallied to take the second, 6-4, to even the score. With the match on the line, Landert navigated some tense points en route to a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory. With the result, a composed and determined Landert tied Sher for the team-lead with three three-set wins so far this season.
Sophomore Madison Shoemaker (Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia) also extended her match to a third set, squaring off with Elle Taylor in the #6 position. Shoemaker struck early, taking the first set, 6-3, but came up short in the next two as Taylor earned the point in the end.
Senior Karina Cordero (Maracay Estado Aragua, Venezuela) mounted a comeback in her #5 match with Gabriella Spindler but her bid to force a third set was denied as she fell, 2-6, 4-6.
Seton Hall (0-2) will play one more match in West Point before returning home. SHU is slated to face America East power Binghamton on Sunday on the neutral site. First-serve is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.
Seton Hall 2, Army 5
- (Seton Hall) def. Erin Colton (Army), 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
- Jamila Paul (Army) def. (Seton Hall), 6-1 (ret.)
- Eva Sung (Army) def. (Seton Hall), 6-2, 5-0 (ret.)
- (Seton Hall) def. Della Taylor (Army), 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
- Gabriella Spindler (Army) def. (Seton Hall), 6-2, 6-4
- Elle Taylor (Army) def. (Seton Hall), 6-3, 1-6, 6-2
- Sher/Portela (Seton Hall) def. D. Taylor/E. Taylor (Army), 8-3
- Colton/Paul (Army) def. Keenan/Shoemaker (Seton Hall), 8-3
- Sung/Spindler (Army) def. /Landert (Seton Hall), 8-6