The men’s tennis team posted 17 wins over two days at the Bucknell Invitational this past weekend, going 8-1 on the first day and 9-4 on day two. The Orange and Blue had their most success in doubles, winning eight of nine matches with the only loss occurring in a head-to-head match featuring two Bison duos. Octavio Canibe ’15 and Kelly Morque ’13 will face Josh Katten ’13 and Evan Zimmer ’13 in the doubles championship later in the week.
“What stood out to me this weekend is how versatile we are in certain areas,” Katten said. “For one, we have some very strong doubles players; it just takes the right combinations to produce wins. I was also very impressed with our team’s resiliency. This was our fourth straight weekend of matches, and we were able to fight through some of the weariness that comes with playing many matches.”
In singles, the Bison dominated in the first round but could not find the same level of success during the quarterfinals. Zimmer and Canibe pulled out tiebreak wins in the Flight A singles on day one, but lost in the next round. Both of Zimmer’s matches were decided in tiebreakers.
In Flight B singles, the Orange and Blue had more success as Chris Tortora ’14 and Jonathan DeFrancesch ’15 each won two matches to advance to the finals. Both players won in straight sets on day one but needed a tiebreak set in the semifinals to overcome opponents from Duquesne.
“As a whole, our team’s performance was promising, but as always there is much room for improvement,” Katten said. “Unfortunately, at the moment we are dealing with quite a few injuries, so while we had some solid individual performances, as a whole we are missing some important pieces.”
With two all-Bison finals, the Orange and Blue will increase their title tally to four for the fall season. The team has two tournaments remaining on the season and then will start up its spring campaign in February.
“The fall matches are often a good indicator of how we will perform in the spring,” Katten said. “However, this year we have a tough fall schedule which may induce some losses but in the long run will strengthen our team. I think as a unit we have high expectations for our spring slate, but we need to be mindful that it is a process and the league champion is often the team that grows the most throughout the year.”
The Bison will return to action next weekend from Oct. 12-14 at the Lehigh Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.