In a thrilling showdown at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Fla., the Navy women’s tennis team overcame an early deficit to beat the Air Force Falcons, 4-2. The win marked Navy’s eighth consecutive victory, the team’s longest winning streak since an 11-match run in 2020.

In their first-ever meeting, the two teams went head-to-head in front of a packed house as part of USTA College MatchDay. Although Air Force took the early lead, Navy rallied behind strong performances from its top-3 singles players to come out on top.

Air Force jumped out to a 1-0 lead after winning both doubles matches. However, Navy quickly responded with victories from Parvathi Shanker and Stella Ribaudo in the No. 5 and No. 2 singles matches, respectively, to tie the score at 2-2.

The Mids then took the lead for the first time in the match when Emily Tannenbaum won a hard-fought battle against Sydney Fitch in the No. 1 singles match. With Navy up 3-2, all eyes turned to the No. 2 and No. 6 singles matches, where Sia Chaudry and Sylvia Eklund were both in the midst of tight third sets.

Chaudry ultimately came out on top in a thrilling 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3 battle against Isabella Flodin to clinch the victory for Navy. The win was a testament to Chaudry’s growth throughout the season and her ability to step up in clutch situations.

“Sia has done an unbelievable job for us this year, she just continues to grow with each and every match,” said Navy head coach Keith Puryear. “I was pretty comfortable and confident knowing she had the goods to close it out, and that’s what she did.”

The win was a hard-fought battle for both teams, with Puryear giving credit to Air Force and coach Kim Gidley for their strong performance.

“We did it the hard way today, but credit goes out to Air Force and coach Kim Gidley,” said Puryear. “They brought it and it was a great battle, I hope everyone at home enjoyed it.”

The victory was especially meaningful for Puryear and Gidley, who are good friends and had been talking about a matchup between their teams for years.

“It was gratifying that we could come here and represent the Academy the way it needs to be represented, the way it should be represented and to go home with the win,” said Puryear.

With the win, Navy improved to 8-2 on the season and extended its record in neutral-site matches to 41-17 all-time. Shanker’s singles victory extended her personal winning streak to a team-high seven matches, while Chaudry and Tannenbaum extended their winning streaks to six.

The victory over Air Force was a significant milestone for the Navy women’s tennis team, who have been on a roll lately and are looking to carry their momentum into the remainder of the season. As the team continues to build on its success, they will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with in the competitive world of college tennis.

Up Next
Navy stays on the road to start next weekend, heading to Liberty on Feb. 25 for a 9 a.m. match, before coming home the next day, Feb. 26, to face Howard at 10 a.m. in the Tose Family Tennis Center.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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