Athlete of the week: Nick Bybel ‘16

Kyle Adams, Staff Writer

Men’s tennis star Nick Bybel ’16 has not lost in singles play since early February. That makes 12 straight matches in which he has earned a singles point for his team while competing consistently at No. 1. Bybel also paired with teammate Bryan Adams ’17 for their fifth consecutive doubles win. The Lancaster, Pa. native made history this week by earning his 77th career singles victory. With this 6-1, 6-1 victory over Villanova’s Mark Miller, he became the all-time winningest singles player in Orange and Blue history. More impressively, Bybel accomplished this as only a junior.

Bybel racked up singles victories in matches against Chestnut Hill on March 22 and Villanova on March 24, as well as one doubles victory, also coming at the expense of the Wildcats. That puts him at an astounding 29-3 on the season in singles play.

The Orange and Blue pulled out a close match against Villanova (4-3), showing the importance of Bybel’s record-breaking performance and his team’s ability to perform under pressure in adverse weather conditions. The Bison more comfortably took the team win over Division II Chestnut Hill (8-1).

How has he been so successful this year? Bybel cites a lack of complacency for his strong play.

“Every practice I am focusing on something new to get better at,” he said.

He also possesses a deep appreciation for his coaches and teammates.

“I thank our coaching staff, Craig Schwartz (Tennis) and Cody Miller (Strength and Conditioning) for pushing the team and myself to be better everyday. Most of my success can be thanked to [my teammates] because they, too, are constantly getting better everyday,” he said. As an upperclassman, Bybel says he is motivated even to “be a step ahead of them.”

As most stand-out athletes do, Bybel has lofty goals. His are almost entirely team-oriented, showcasing his humility.

“Spring season isn’t about individual records, it’s all about the team, and that is what I focus on. The goal for this season is to win a Patriot League Championship and get the automatic bid into the NCAA.”

Although he has since fallen, Bybel began the 2014-2015 campaign ranked by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association as the 114th best Division I Men’s Singles Player in the country. He also hopes to represent the Bison in the NCAA tournament as an individual once the team season has concluded.

 

STATS

Year: Junior

Hometown: Lancaster, Pa. 

High School: Hilton Head Christian Academy, S.C.

Career record: 77-21

Season record: 29-3

Career record-holder in singles wins

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