BLACKSBURG, Va. – Sophomore Nick Bybel (Lancaster, Pa./Hilton Head Christian Academy (S.C.)) and junior Octavio Canibe (Spring, Texas/The John Cooper School), two members of the Bucknell men’s tennis team, competed in the 2013 USTA/ITA Regional Championships on Friday.
Many of the top Division I men’s tennis players in the country are competing at one of the twelve sites playing host to this year’s regional competitions, with Bybel and Canibe playing at Virginia Tech’s Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center. Bucknell was one of 21 teams in the Atlantic Region to send competitors to the Regional Championships, pitting Bybel and Canibe against some of the best collegiate tennis players in the area.
Playing doubles together for the first time in their collegiate careers, the duo opened up the competition against Richmond’s Ethan and Jacob Dunbar, brothers from Medina, Ohio. Ethan, a red shirt junior, is a two-time All-Conference first team selection who has played in the No. 1 singles position for the last two seasons, while Jacob is a freshman who was a talented high school player before joining his brother at the collegiate ranks. The Bison gave the Spiders all that they could handle, but fell 8-7 (6).
Bybel saw first round action against James Madison’s Rob Stirling, a sophomore from Caboolture, Australia, in the singles bracket and fell in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. The match concluded an impressive fall for the talented sophomore, as he finished his tournament season with a record of 12-5.
Canibe also found himself up against stiff competition in his singles match, as he faced Thomas Pecor, a Patriot League foe from Navy. The freshman from Houston, Texas defeated Canibe in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, giving the Bison a singles record of 6-6 in fall tournament play.
The USTA/ITA Regional Championships concluded the fall season for Bucknell, and Bybel and Canibe will join the rest of the tennis team in a rigorous strength and conditioning schedule in preparation for the spring season.