TULSA, Okla. - After defeating Memphis senior Cedric de Zutter in straight sets during the first round of pre-qualifying at the prestigious ITA All-American Championships, Bucknell men’s tennis player Nick Bybel fell to Texas A&M’s Jordan Szabo on Saturday morning. The sophomore earned a solid win at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center in Tulsa on Friday, but fell 4-6, 3-6 in the second round, knocking him out of the tournament.
“After opening the match with a break of serve he was immediately broken back,” said head tennis coach Rebecca Helt. “He won most of the baseline points by hitting deep and heavy, but his opponent had an aggressive serve and volley style of play and Nick struggled to come up with the passing shot.”
Bybel, who has a 9-3 record in the fall tournament season, was the first Bison men’s tennis player to be selected to play in the ITA All-American Championships. The reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year went 22-9 last season, including a 15-6 dual meet record at No. 1 singles.
“It was a great experience for Nick,” Helt said of the tournament. “He was able to see that he is already at this level and if he continues to work hard, he can look forward to some good success during the rest of this season and at this competition next year.”
Bybel and the rest of the Bucknell men’s tennis team return to action on Friday, Oct. 5 for another three-day tournament. Part of the team will travel to the UVA Invitational in Charlottesville, Va., while the rest of the squad will head to Bethlehem, Pa. for the Lehigh Invitational.