Army Rallies to Edge Air Force, 4-3, in Gideon Cup Match
The Air Force women's tennis team came ever so close to gaining back the coveted Gideon Cup Saturday at the Academy, but service-academy rival Army rallied to defeat the Falcons, 4-3. The Falcons fell to 3-6 this season and suffered their first back-to-back losses to the Black Knights.
The Falcons got off to a great start, winning the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles matches to claim the doubles point. Senior Kat Bushey, who paired with freshman Christine Abayan to win at No. 1 doubles, led off the singles contests with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Megan Noble at the top singles spot.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, they could muster only one other singles win, which was by sophomore Lauren Wilson, who beat Sarah Giles-Madden at No. 3, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. After Army won at No. 2 and No. 4 singles, the Falcons were ahead 3-2 with the final two matches going on the court.
Diana Alquero evened things up for Army with her victory over sophomore Erika Shortridge at No. 5, 6-1, 6-4, setting things up for the No. 6 match to decide the team contest.
Air Force junior Kelly Morgan won the first set against Amanda Paluch, 6-3, then dropped the second, 6-1. The two players stretched each other to a third-set tiebreak, which Paluch won, 7-2, clinching the victory for Army.
Since the 1990-91 season, the winner of the annual match between the two service Academies has been awarded the Gideon Cup in honor of West Point graduate Lt. Gen. F.C. Gideon, who served as an officer for the Army Air Corps. Air Force is now 12-7 in the all-time series with Army and 10-6 versus the Black Knights since the inception of the Gideon Cup.
Air Force hosts Texas State on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 9 a.m. at the Academy.
Army 4, Air Force 3
1. Kat Bushey (AF) def. Megan Noble - 6-0, 6-1.
2. Kristin Flach (A) def. Christine Albayan - 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
3. Lauren Wilson (AF) def. Sarah Giles-Madden - 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
4. Jessica Shurtz (A) def. Meghan Kiser - 6-2, 6-3.
5. Diana Alquero (A) def. Erika Shortridge - 6-1, 6-4.
6. Amanda Paluch (A) def. Kelly Morgan - 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (2).
1. Bushey/Albayan (AF) def. Noble/Giles-Madden - 8-5.
2. Flach/Paluch (A) def. Wilson/Kiser - 8-1.
3. Morgan/Shortridge (AF) def. Shurtz/Christine Limsiaco - 9-8 (4).