Bison end three-match weekend with 1-2 record

Charlotte O’Donnell, Contributing Writer

After a packed weekend of matches, Nick Bybel ’16 took home an individual win, along with a shared win in doubles play with teammate Bryan Adams ’17 to lead the Bison in a 5-2 victory against Norfolk State. The men’s tennis team had a strenuous three days, playing nationally-ranked Old Dominion on Feb. 26, defeating Norfolk State on Feb. 27, and finishing the weekend with a match against William & Mary on Feb. 28.

The Bison had a tough start to their weekend of competition, losing to Old Dominion 7-0 in their first match. Old Dominion is ranked 55th in the country and is a non-conference match for the team. Doubles team Bybel and Adams hustled to tie their first set 6-6, but they were unable to complete the next set, as the Bison’s other two doubles team lost their sets, clinching the win for Old Dominion.

The Bison turned things around on Feb. 27 to defeat Norfolk State 5-2 with Bybel, Ben Gerber ’18, and Andrei Vitiuc ’19 all playing difficult three-setters in the singles competition. Bybel triumphed with a final score of 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, and Gerber added to the Bison’s success with scores of 4-6, 6-4, 10-4. Adams and Vitiuc, playing at No. 3 and 4, respectively, ultimately fell to their opponents, with Adams ending his set 6-2, 6-4 and Vitiuc racking up scores on 1-6, 6-2, 7-5. The Orange and Blue also dominated in the doubles segment of the match, with Bybel and Wright winning 6-4 at No. 1, and Adams and Gerber helping to solidify the Bison win with a set score of 6-4 at No. 2. Vitiuc and Max Haase ’19 won their set at No. 3 by default.

Following their success against Norfolk State, the Bison still had one last match against William & Mary on Feb. 28. Gerber’s strategy for dealing with playing numerous teams of varying levels of difficulty in one weekend is to take each match as it comes.

“We treat every match like it’s our last and we just play our game regardless of who is across the net,” Gerber said.

This mentality was sighted on the courts in Williamsburg, Va. where the Bison fought William & Mary, who are the reigning champions of their league. The Orange and Blue fell 5-2, with Max McDonald ’19 earning the sole Bison win in the singles competition in a close match of 2-6, 6-4, 10-6. The team rallied for its doubles performances, with Bybel and Adams winning a close match 7-6 (1), and the team of Wright and Gerber coming out on top with a score of 6-4.

While the Bison faced a difficult and wearying weekend, the team maintained a positive outlook on their abilities.

“We’ve got all the talent out there, it’s just a matter of putting it all together during the big points,” Gerber said.

The Bison will be kept busy in preparation of their next match, which is during spring break.

“We will train, train, train,” Gerber said.

The Orange and Blue look to compete again from March 13-16 against five different opponents in Orlando, Fla.

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