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Tennis Downed at Army in Spring Opener

Alex Landert and Julia Keenan cruised to their fourth-straight win against Army

Feb. 1, 2014

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Seton Hall tennis team opened the dual match portion of its schedule on Saturday, falling to six-time reigning Patriot League champions Army, 5-1, on the road.

The Hall (0-1) started fast, taking the doubles point by picking up wins in two of three matches to jump out to a 1-0 lead over the Black Knights.

The #9 ranked duo in the Northeast region according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), seniors Rocio Portela (Demetrio Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) and Chloe Sher (Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong) got their final spring campaign started with a 6-4 victory over the team of Elle and Della Taylor at the top position, avenging a 2-8 defeat to the Taylors in the quarterfinals of the West Point Invitational in the fall.

The Pirates were able to close out the doubles point thanks to the continued success of the sophomore tandem of Julia Keenan (Greenland, N.H.) and Alex Landert (Naples, Fla.) who continued their torrid run through Army doubles pairs over the last two weeks.

After splitting a pair of matches as a team in the fall, Keenan and Landert powered their way to a B Flight doubles crown at the Cornell Winter Invitational with three-straight victories over pairs representing the Black Knights, culminating in a 6-1 triumph over Caroline Lorenzini and Hayley O’Connor in the final.

At #3 on Saturday, Keenan and Landert drew a rematch with Margaret Iliev and Carly Riney whom they defeated, 6-4, in the semifinals at Cornell. The two sophomores continued to roll, dropping only one game en route to a 6-1 victory; their fifth in their last six appearances.

With the two wins, the Pirates are now 16-9 (.640) in doubles matches to start the spring and have now come out on top in over 62 percent (68-41, .624) of their doubles contests overall to this point in 2013-14.

In singles, Portela nearly helped Seton Hall add an additional point as she claimed the first set 6-2, and was down just 5-6 in the second against Gabriella Spindler of Army in #3 singles before the match was halted.

Junior Madison Shoemaker (Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia) took Elle Taylor to three sets at the #5 spot, rebounding from a first set loss to take the second, 6-2. The decisive frame took 34 points as neither Taylor nor a resilient Shoemaker could seize control in a back-and-forth affair but it was Taylor who eventually emerged with an 18-16 win.

All other Pirates in action fell in straight sets, as Army (3-0) scored its third win in three days after downing Binghamton and Sacred Heart on Friday.

Seton Hall will look to score its first dual match win of the season on Sunday when they wrap up a weekend trip to the United States Military Academy by taking on Binghamton. The Hall owns a 5-3 advantage in singles over the Bearcats in tournament play this season, highlighted by two wins from sophomore Hannah Liljekvist (Djursholm, Sweden) at Cornell, and the two squads have split four doubles meetings as well.

Start-time is scheduled for 9:00 a.m.     

Seton Hall 1, Army 5

#1 Chloe Sher/ Rocio Portela (Seton Hall) def. Elle Taylor/Della Taylor (Army), 6-4
#2Jamila Paul/Carolyn Pitman (Army) def. Madison Shoemaker/ Hannah Liljekvist (Seton Hall), 6-2
#3 Julia Keenan/Alex Landert (Seton Hall) def. Margaret Iliev/ Carly Riney (Army), 6-1

#1 Jamila Paul (Army) def. Chloe Sher (Seton Hall), 6-3, 6-0
#2 Carolyn Pitman (Army) def. Hannah Liljekvist (Seton Hall), 6-3, 6-3
#3 Rocio Portela (Seton Hall) vs. Gabriella Spindler (Army), 6-2, 5-6 unfinished
#4 Della Taylor (Army) def. Julia Keenan (Seton Hall), 6-1, 6-3
#5 Elle Taylor (Army) def. Madison Shoemaker (Seton Hall), 6-3, 2-6, 18-16
#6 Ally Hayley (Army) def. Alex Landert (Seton Hall), 6-1, 6-4