Nick Bybel ’16 won every singles match he played April 2-3, helping the Bison move to a 10-10 overall record and earning himself Patriot League Corvias Male Player of the Week for the second week in a row. The Orange and Blue played Patriot League competitors, facing Loyola on April 2 to clinch a 4-3 victory on Senior Day. Bybel trumped his opponent at No. 1 singles, ending the match at 6-2, 6-1. Dan Wright ’18 also crushed at No. 2 singles, winning 6-0, 6-3. With three Bison losing their singles matches, it was integral for Timber Erskine ’18 to come through in his No. 6 singles match. Erskine handled the pressure admirably, handily winning 6-4, 6-2.
The Bison prevailed in two of their three doubles matches, ensuring their overall win on the day. The duo of Bybel and Andrei Vitiuc ’19, playing at No. 1, defeated their opponents 6-4, while the pairing of Wright and Ben Gerber ’18 resulted in their 6-3 victory at No. 3 doubles. The need to bring home a win on Senior Day was a looming presence for the team, especially considering that the team only boasts one senior, Bybel. To cope with this pressure, Gerber handled his matches by focusing on what he is capable of doing, an idea that the team seemingly mimics.
“You can’t control what your opponent does, so we try to go out there with our own mentality and play our own game,” Gerber said.
The Bison followed up this success with a tough loss against Colgate on April 3, dropping the match 4-1. Bybel collected the only victory for the Bison, continuing his winning streak and dominating No. 1 singles at 6-3, 6-4. The Raiders defeated the Bison in the next five flights of singles, as well as all the doubles matches. Due to Colgate’s success in doubles, Max Kane ’18 and Erskine did not finish their No. 3 doubles match. Tied at a nail-biting 5-5, the match was called off when Colgate clinched the team point.
Despite the loss, the Bison remain optimistic, and head coach Craig Schwartz maintains his confidence in his team.
“I believe the best strength we have as a team is the cohesiveness and family atmosphere,” Schwartz said.
This strength will undoubtedly carry the Bison far, as they still have six matches left before the Patriot League Tournament.
The Orange and Blue will face conference opponents Lafayette on April 9 and Lehigh on April 12 as they try to improve their 1-1 league record.