SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The Bucknell men’s tennis team continues to play with gritty determination, but the squad couldn’t overcome Duquesne on Friday afternoon, suffering a 7-0 defeat at the West Branch Tennis Club in South Williamsport, Pa. The loss drops the Bison to 0-4 in the young season, while the Dukes improve to 7-2 with the victory.

“We are continuing to battle hard,” said interim head coach Craig Schwartz, “but we are coming up short on the crucial points. We played a tough team today, and we are showing great improvement with each match. The hard work we put in during the week is going to pay off for us in the long run.”

Duquesne swept all three doubles matches to take the opening point, but the Bison challenged the Dukes considerably, especially at the No. 2 and 3 spots. Seniors Chris Tortora and Scott Bernstein dropped a slim, 8-5 decision to Corey Robinson and Max Rubin at No. 2 doubles, while senior Kyle Rosen and junior Jonathan DeFrancesch were defeated in the tie-break in the No. 3 match, falling to Matt Slamecka and Harry Walshe by a score of 9-8 (5).

Sophomore Nick Bybel, who played at the No. 1 spot, came the closest to victory in singles play, battling back from a 6-3 loss in the first set of the match to win the second by a score of 6-3. Bybel couldn’t quite eke out the victory however, as he dropped a 6-4 decision in the final set. DeFrancesch also put up quite the fight at the No. 5 spot, taking Mehdi Mekaoui to a tie-break in the first set of the match, but he was ultimately defeated 7-6 (6), 6-4.

Bucknell will travel to Baltimore, Md. for its next two contests, as the Bison are set to play a pair of matches on Friday, Feb. 28. The squad will kick off competition with a 2 p.m. contest against Coppin State before taking on UMBC in the 7:15 p.m. nightcap.  

1. Pete Carpenter/Alex Aleman (D) def. Nick Bybel/Aidan Lynch (B), 8-2
2. Corey Robinson/Max Rubin (D) def. Chris Tortora/Scott Bernstein (B), 8-5
3. Matt Slamecka/Harry Walshe (D) def. Kyle Rosen/Jonathan DeFrancesch (B), 9-8 (5)

1. Rich Robbie (D) def. Nick Bybel (B), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
2. Pete Carpenter (D) def. Aidan Lynch (B), 6-2, 6-4
3. Alex Aleman (D) def. Kyle Rosen (B), 6-1, 6-3
4. Corey Robinson (D) def. Irwin Reibeisen (B), 6-0, 6-3
5. Max Rubin (D) def. Bryan Adams (B), 6-1, 6-1
6. Mehdi Mekaoui (D) def. Jonathan DeFrancesch (B), 7-6 (6), 6-4