Mixed Results for Bison Tennis 

Nick Sperduto, Senior Writer

The Bison paid visits to a couple of tennis powerhouses over the weekend, with the men traveling to Dartmouth on Saturday and the women to Penn State on Sunday.

Tim Zelikovsky ’24 was the lone winner on the men’s side at No. 4 singles. The 6-3, 6-4 victory improves his win streak to six and tallies his 13th win overall. Despite long, back and forth matches on courts one and three, Harrison Gold ’24 and Michael Owen ’23 were ultimately defeated, as was the rest of the team.

The women’s team started strong on Saturday, with a convincing 6-1 win over St. Bonaventure. Laurel Utterback ’24 and Whitney King ’25 set the pace, posting dominant 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-2 victories at No. 4 and No. 2 singles, respectively. Captain Daniela Bellini ’22 showed continuous resilience once again, as she fought back from a 2-6 first set loss to win the match in a tiebreaker. Anna Lajos ’25 and Kate Novak ’24 rounded out the win for the Bison. 

After improving to 8-2 overall, the Nittany Lions proved to be a little too much to handle on Sunday. The Bison fell 6-1, with Lajos posting the only win at No. 5 singles. 

As non-conference play rapidly comes to a close, the Men’s team is off to Florida and the Women’s team is Hawaii-bound. Spring break, which features three matches for both sides, will serve as a final tune up before Patriot League plays begins. 

“League matches bring even more excitement and intensity. I’m really looking forward to hosting Lehigh and Colgate back-to-back (April 2-3). Rivalry matches are a completely different environment and we are all really excited to compete at home with a crowd,” Utterback said. 

During spring break, the Bison women traveled to Hawaii to compete against Chaminade and Hawaii. The Bison first played Chaminade on March 14 and emerged victorious 4-0. This was the Bison’s third shutout of the season. Utterback, Novak, and Caroline Marcus ’25 were dominating in their singles matches with none of them dropping a single set. Bellini, Tyne Miller ’24, and Sebulsky were also on their way to victories in their matches, but the matches were left unfinished because the Bison had already clinched the three singles points. The Bison also secured both doubles points via victories from Marcus/Sebulsky and Miller/Novak. This was Marcus’ first collegiate match along with her first collegiate victories in both singles and doubles. 

The next two matches against Hawaii did not fare as well for the Bison. Hawaii won both matches 7-0. The Bison did compete hard with several individuals competing in higher positions than they usually would along with having some different doubles pairings. 

Meanwhile, the men’s team played several matches against multiple different teams over the break in Florida. The Bison went 1-5 in these matches with a close victory over Atlantis on March 13. Additionally, the Bison were without several key players due to injuries during these matches. The Orange and Blue had to battle for the win, eventually emerging victorious by a score of 4-3. 

Gold and Charlie Nordahl ’24 won on doubles court one by a score of 6-3. Meanwhile, Owen and Nicolas Grunig ’25 won 7-6 (7-2) on doubles court two. In singles, Owen won 6-3, 6-4 on court two while Grunig won 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 on court three. Nordahl finished it up for the Bison with a 6-7 (3-7), 6-2, 10-8 thriller on court 5. 

The Bison women will be back in action this weekend as they take on George Mason on March 26 at 2 p.m. before traveling to Maryland for their Patriot League opening match against Navy. This match will take place on March 27 at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, the men’s team will take on Howard on March 27 at 2 p.m.

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