The Bison men’s tennis team split its weekend matches with a loss to Cleveland State and a win against La Salle on Feb. 3 and 4, respectively.
After Cleveland won the doubles point with wins on all three courts and swept the first two singles, they took an early 3-0 lead over the Orange and Blue. The Bison rallied to take the next three singles wins, tying the match at 3-3. Victories came from Max Kane ’18, Andrei Vitiuc ’19, and Ben Gerber ’18.
In the final singles match, Max McDonald ’19 took on Mirko Radosevic. McDonald took the first-set, but Radosevic won the second, leading to a deciding third-set. The set was tied 6-6, and went to a tiebreaker, which Radosevic won. The Bison lost 4-3.
The Bison took on La Salle on Feb. 4. On the back of five straight set wins in the singles round, the team got the win over the Explorers to notch their first victory of the season. It was also head coach Bruce Myers’s first dual win with the program.
Winning in singles games were Bryan Adams ’17, Vitiuc, Kane, Max Palmer ’20, and Gerber. Their five wins contributed to the Bison going five of six in the singles match-ups. In doubles, the Orange and Blue took all three match–ups to win that point, as well. Adams paired with teammate Timber Erskine ’18 for one of the victories, while Vitiuc and Kane notched the other doubles win.
The win brings the Orange and Blue’s overall record to 1-6 on the season. Despite the current losing record, Myers and his players have seen considerable improvement in their play so far this season.
“The team is doing great in making sure we are taking all the necessary steps to peak when we want the most, and that’s the Patriot League Tournament. Coach Myers is doing a great job in working on individual errors that each of us makes, preparing us to be 100 percent when we need [to be],” Vitiuc said.
After his strong performances over the weekend, Vitiuc was named Patriot League Men’s Tennis Player of the Week. Individually, he finished off the weekend with a singles record of 2-0 and a doubles record of 1-0 against Cleveland State and La Salle. It is his second career Player of the Week award. He commented that his confidence built during the weeks between their latest match-ups, and he used this to bring his tennis skills to the next level.
The team returns to non-conference action on Feb. 11 and 12 with a pair of matches at Penn State. They will face James Madison on Feb. 11 and the host team, the Nittany Lions, on Feb. 12, continuing a challenging start to their season.
“We all know that this year’s schedule ranks as one of the toughest, playing opponents ranked nationally, but also traveling to many places we haven’t played before,” Vitiuc said. The team looks to be prepared to handle tight, high-intensity matches once Patriot League play begins.