Empire Beat Lasers 19-15 to Notch First Win in Franchise History

The New York Empire defeated the Springfield Lasers 19-15 to notch the first win in franchise history on Wednesday night.
Credit all photos to Emma Fein
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Doubles standouts Neal Skupski and Maria Irigoyen won two events each and Long Island’s own Noah Rubin earned nine total games, pacing the New York Empire presented by Citi to their first Mylan World TeamTennis victory, a 19-15 triumph over the Springfield (Mo.) Lasers at Forest Hills Stadium at The West Side Tennis Club Wednesday night. Skupski won men’s doubles with Rubin, Irigoyen took women’s doubles with Christina McHale, and the pair combined to win mixed doubles to clinch the victory.

The evening started with men’s doubles, and Rubin teamed with Skupski to get the Empire off on the right foot, a 5-2 men’s doubles triumph over Benjamin Becker and Jean Andersen. Pauline Parmentier responded by blanking McHale, 5-0, in women’s singles to give the visitors a 7-5 lead after two events. Rubin then rallied from a 4-2 game deficit to even the third event at 4, and had a 4-2 lead in the tiebreak before Becker won the last three points to take men’s singles, 5-4, for a 12-9 Lasers advantage.


Women’s doubles was up next, and the team of McHale and Irigoyen returned the lead to the Empire with a 5-1 victory over Parmentier and Michaella Krajicek, setting up a dramatic mixed doubles final to determine the match. The duo of Irigoyen and Skupski closed it out for New York with a 5-2 win over Krajicek and Andersen for the final margin.

Despite dropping his singles match, Rubin said it just felt good to be out there healthy again.

"It felt great. A little sore right now, it’s tough with the stopping and going, but it felt good to be back out there playing," said Rubin, who was hopping on a plane to Cabo just a few hours after the victory for an ATP tournament. "I'm feeling good overall. I just want to be healthy, have a good Fall and keep having fun."

The Empire (1-3) now embark on a three-game road trip, first to California to take on the San Diego Aviators on Friday at 10 p.m. ET and the Orange County Breakers on Saturday at 10 p.m., before switching coasts for a battle at the five-time defending champion Washington Kastles on Monday at 7 p.m. in the front end of a home-a-home with the Kastles which concludes in a Tuesday matchup at Forest Hills Stadium on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Lasers (0-4) visit the Philadelphia Freedoms on Thursday at 7 p.m.

New York Empire (1-3) d. Springfield Lasers (0-4), 19-15

Men’s Doubles: Noah Rubin/Neal Skupski (NYE) Benjamin Becker/Jean Andersen (SPR), 5-2

Women’s Singles: Pauline Parmentier d. Christina McHale (NYE), 5-0

Men’s Singles:  Benjamin Becker (SPR) d. Noah Rubin (NYE), 5-4

Women’s Doubles: Christina McHale/Maria Irigoyen (NYE) d. Michaella Krajicek/Pauline Parmentier, 5-1

Mixed Doubles: d. Maria Irigoyen/Neal Skupski (NYE) d. Michaella Krajicek/Jean Andersen 5-2