Men’s tennis collects two wins in preparation for PL Tournament

Charlotte O’Donnell , Staff Writer



Moving to a 12-11 overall record, the Bison were unstoppable in their matches April 8-9, defeating Queens College 5-2 and dominating Lafayette 7-0 before falling to Lehigh 3-4 on April 12. Nick Bybel ’16 extended his winning streak to 12 matches, earning yet another Patriot League Corvias Male Player of the Week award for the third consecutive week.

The Bison fought to win four out of their six singles matches against Queens College, giving them an early lead. Bybel won the No. 1 singles match despite struggling during his second game, finishing the match 6-2, 1-6, 6-1. Bybel’s loss in his second match can be attributed to the mentality that come with being a senior, and the pressure to perform.

“I found myself getting more frustrated then I usually do, but all I have to do is take a step back and realize this is my last time here and I should cherish every moment I have,” Bybel said.

Dan Wright ’18 also stumbled in his second match, but, like Bybel, bounced back to defeat his opponent 6-1, 3-6, 6-0. Andrei Vitiuc ’19 and Timber Erskine ’18 ensured Bison victories with their singles wins, posting scores of 6-1, 7-6 and 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, respectively. The Orange and Blue also triumphed in their doubles sets, with Bybel/Wright winning 6-2, and the pairing of Max Kane ’18 and Erskine earning a score of 6-4. Vitiuc and Ben Gerber ’18 played at the No. 3 doubles spot, but the match went unfinished, as the Bison had accumulated enough points to claim the win.

Continuing their winning streak, the Bison steam-rolled Lafayette, winning every single match and ending with an impressive score of 7-0. This marks the 14th straight Orange and Blue victory over Lafayette. The Bison won each match handily, with five of the singles matches clinched in just two sets. No. 1 seed Bybel won his match 6-1, 6-0, and Wright, in the No. 2 spot, finished 6-2, 6-0. Kane overcame his first match loss to come back and win 1-6, 6-4, 10-5 at No. 3. Vitiuc, Max McDonald ’19, and Erskine all won their matches with ease, with Erskine shutting out his opponent 6-0, 6-0. The Bison’s doubles results were just as remarkable, with Bybel/Wright winning 6-0, and the teams of Kane/Erskine and Vitiuc/Gerber each winning their matches 6-1.

The Bison faltered against Patriot League rival Lehigh on April 12, ending the match with a close 4-3 loss. The team is now 12-11 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League. The Bison won their first three singles matches and the No. 1 doubles match, but ultimately could not clinch the win. Bybel extended his winning streak to 12 matches, as he won his singles match 6-1, 6-4, and his doubles match with Wright 6-3. Wright also proved his prowess on the court, winning the No. 2 singles spot 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. Kane rounded out the Bison wins with his 6-3, 7-5 victory at No. 3 singles.

Despite the loss, the Bison have much to be proud of, as senior Bybel has earned the titles of both career record holder in singles wins, as well as career record holder in all-time victories. Having had no intention of breaking such records, Bybel is proud, but focused on his main goal of winning the Patriot League Championship.

“We’ve been close the past three years, and I firmly believe that this is our year,” Bybel said.

With just two matches left before the Patriot League tournament kicks off, the Bison will compete against Bloomsburg on April 16 and Navy on April 17.

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