BALTIMORE, Md. – The Bucknell men’s tennis team put up another tough fight on Friday evening, but the squad wasn’t able to work its way past UMBC, suffering a 5-2 defeat at the 40 West Racquet Club in Baltimore, Md. Sophomore Nick Bybel turned in two strong wins for the Bison, who drop to 0-5 with the loss, while junior Jonathan DeFrancesch had one of the most heroic outings of the match, coming from behind to win at No. 6 singles. The Retrievers improve to 5-3 with the victory.
“We are improving as a team every day,” said DeFrancesch after the match. “My teammates really helped me through my match tonight, and while record-wise the season doesn’t look promising, we are trusting the process and will be a force to be reckoned with in our Patriot League matches.”
Bucknell earned a win at No. 1 doubles, as the duo of Bybel and senior Aidan Lynch, who improved their season record to 9-5, cruised to an 8-2 victory over Melker Svard and Biyik Akinshemoyin, but UMBC claimed the point with triumphs at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. DeFrancesch and senior Scott Bernstein were defeated 8-2 in the No. 2 match, while junior Octavio Canibe and senior Kyle Rosen dropped an 8-0 decision as the third doubles pair.
Bybel completed his 2-0 day with a straight-set win at No. 1 singles, defeating UMBC’s Alex Drean 6-2, 6-4. The sophomore improved to 15-7 in singles play with the triumph, his third of the year at the top spot in singles match play. The Retrievers grabbed wins in the middle four match-ups, with freshman Bryan Adams coming the closest to victory in the No. 5 match, but No. 6 singles proved to be the most exiting contest of the day. DeFrancesch and Akinshemoyin squared off in a grueling battle, with the Retriever taking the first set. DeFrancesch rallied back however, winning the second set in the tie break and earning a 10-5 win in the final set to take the 3-6, 7-6 (4), 10-5 win.
Bucknell will return to action on Saturday, March 8 when it heads to Norfolk, Va. to take on Old Dominion at 10 a.m.
1. Nick Bybel/Aidan Lynch (B) def. Melker Svard/Biyik Akinshemoyin (UMBC), 8-2
2. Daniel Gray/Alex Drean (UMBC) def. Jonathan DeFrancesch /Scott Bernstein (B), 8-2
3. Kamal Patel/Eliott Loubatie (UMBC) def. Octavio Canibe/Kyle Rosen (B), 8-0
1. Nick Bybel (B) def. Alex Drean (UMBC), 6-2, 6-4
2. Melker Svard (UMBC) def. Aidan Lynch (B), 6-0, 6-0
3. Eliott Loubatie (UMBC) def. Octavio Canibe (B), 6-3, 6-1
4. Daniel Gray (UMBC) def. Kyle Rosen (B), 6-3, 6-2
5. Kamal Patel (UMBC) def. Bryan Adams (B), 6-4, 6-3
6. Jonathan DeFrancesch (B) def. Biyik Akinshemoyin (UMBC), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 10-5