Tennis captain Don Pompan vividly remembers the last time he set foot on court before a capacity crowd on Navy home turf. He recalls only too well his own role as a member of the losing doubles team in a heart-breaking 4-5 loss to the midshipmen.
Yesterday the intimidating crowd of 300 and the lean crew-cutted opponents served as reminder of that past confrontation. Only the final result was different...far different.
By the time the dust had settled after the singles competition, the Crimson already stood at 6-0 and had clinched their first Eastern league victory of the season. They continued to assert their dominance, ultimately crushing Navy 8-1.
The netmen were determined to win this one. Pompan, in the number three position, revenged his defeat of two years ago by easily dispatching of opponent David Andrews, 6-1, 6-3. Pompan's two previous encounters with Andrews ended similarly, but only after close, intense play.
Howard Sand, in the number one slot, won the first set 7-5 after carefully testing opponent Craig Morrison, a player he has also confronted before. In a repeat of that previous match. Sands torpedoed the midshipman in the second and final set 6-2.
In a tight see-saw battle, Adam Beren, playing number two, continued the trend, beating his midshipman opponent 7-5, 7-5.
Playing some of his best tennis this year, number four player Michael Terner gutted out the excellent power serving of foe Curtis Dashiel to carry away a 6-3, 3-6, and 6-1 victory.
Breaking out of his traditionally slow start. Warren Grossman, the number five player, confronted the well-respected freshman, Bailey Taff. The first set saw plebe Taff taking an early 6-4 lead. However, a determined Grossman:--relying on his natural quickness to get behind the superb shooting of his opponent--forced Taff into two consecutive tie-breaking sets, both of which Grossman won.
"It's the type of match that if we had not come psyched for we would have lost," said a relieved Pompan after the game. He added that the win will give the team the confidence they need for their up-coming double-header with Duke and North Carolina next week-end.
NOTEBOOK: The Crimson netmen, courtesy of Uncle Sam and a late finishing match, had the opportunity this weekend to see Navy life first hand. After missing their plane and being stranded without a hotel room in Annapolis, the team spent the night in the luxurious Navy barracks. Just a chance to let them know what they're missing.