Men's and women's tennis start season on a strong note

Alex Wagner
Sports Editor

Both the men’s and women’s tennis programs were successful in the opening of their season at the Bucknell Quad tournament. The Bison men won two out of three individual championships and the doubles championship, while the women had three individual runners-up and a doubles team runner-up.

Kelly Morque ’13 and Aiden Lynch ’14 won the doubles final on Sept. 8, giving the Orange and Blue their first title of the year. They defeated Brandon Gallegos and Lorenz Schwojer of Niagara University 8-6 in the final match.

On the singles side, Nick Bybel ’16 and Josh Katten ’13 emerged on top to win the A and C brackets. Bybel began his career for the Orange and Blue with a first-place finish after defeating his teammate Evan Zimmer ’13 6-4, 6-4 in the Flight A final. Katten also defeated a Bison teammate, Chris Tortora ’14, to capture Flight C.

“The preseason preparations that our coaches had for us really helped me get back in the swing of things. Normally it takes me some time to get back from taking a few weeks off from playing, but the drills and the intensity of our practices really helped me regain my form. The results from this weekend are great building blocks for the season and my college career,” Bybel said.

“For me, preseason preparations were out of the ordinary this year. Following the spring 2012 season, I underwent double knee surgery and have been on the recovery trail ever since. This first tournament gave me the opportunity to get my feet under me and to test out, as I like to say, my new knees,” Katten said.

The women’s squad showed similar promise for the upcoming season. Maria Cioffi ’16, Stephanie Pino ’16 and Claudia Silvers ’15 all put in impressive performances to reach their respective bracket finals, but none were able to pull out a victory in the final.

In finals play, newcomers Cioffi and Pino were impressive once again as they advanced to the doubles final after defeating teammates Elena Vidrascu ’14 and Lydia Colvin ’15.  Unfortunately, they came up short in the final, losing 8-1 to Megan Hahn and Olivia Ott of Loyola (Md.).

“I was extremely pleased that I was able to make it to the finals in this tournament for both singles and doubles, and I hope it sets the tone for a great season … This tournament also gave me the confidence to know that I can successfully play college tennis and contribute to the success of the tennis team. It also gave me the opportunity to identify some areas that I would like to work on so that I can continue to improve my tennis skills and perform well in the tournaments to come,” Pino said.

The next competition for the women will be on Sept. 14 at the Mount St. Mary’s Invitational. The men’s team will be back in action the same day, splitting their squad between the Mount St. Mary’s Invitational and the Princeton Invitational.

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