WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The Bucknell men’s tennis team engaged in a fierce battle with Navy on Saturday afternoon, using two singles wins to make it a one-point match with two pairs left on the courts, but the Mids eked out the victory in the end, playing to a 5-2 triumph at the West Branch Tennis Center. The match, which was originally scheduled to be played on the Bucknell Tennis Courts, was forced to be contested indoors due to the cold and rainy weather. The Bison fell to 2-10 overall and 1-1 in Patriot League play with the defeat, while the Mids improved to 14-6 overall and 1-0 in conference action with the win.
“We really gave Navy all that they could handle throughout the match,” commented interim head men’s tennis coach Craig Schwartz. “I am proud of the fight that we had from start to finish, and I believe that everything is coming together for us at the right time. We will continue to keep working hard and improving.”
The doubles point came down to a tiebreak, as Navy earned a win at the No. 2 spot and Bucknell bounced back with a win at No. 3 doubles, leaving the final decision in the hands of the No. 1 match. Freshman Bryan Adams and senior Chris Tortora dropped an 8-5 decision to Calvin Mark and Blake Daniel at No. 2 doubles, while junior Octavio Canibe and senior Scott Bernstein grabbed an 8-6 win over Alex Gaines and Krishna Jana. Sophomore Nick Bybel and senior Aidan Lynch battled for every point in the No. 1 match, but ultimately fell to Thomas Pecor and Austin Jones by a score of 9-8 (2) in the tiebreak, giving the Mids a 1-0 lead.
Navy extended its advantage to 3-0 with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, but Bucknell rallied back to make it a one-point match with back-to-back singles wins. Bybel earned his eighth win of the season at the top spot, playing to a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Jones, while Canibe claimed his second victory of the day in the form of a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Pecor at No. 4 singles. Senior Kyle Rosen gave Jana all he could handle at the No. 5 spot and junior Jonathan DeFrancesch turned in an equally tough fight at No. 6 singles, but the Mids took the last two wins and the 5-2 match victory over the Bison.
Bucknell will return to action on Monday, traveling to Villanova for a 2:30 p.m. contest, before welcoming Colgate and Boston University to Lewisburg for two Patriot League matches on April 5 and 6, respectively.
1. Thomas Pecor/Austin Jones (N) def. Nick Bybel/Aidan Lynch (B), 9-8 (2)
2. Calvin Mark/Blake Daniel (N) def. Bryan Adams/Chris Tortora (B), 8-5
3. Octavio Canibe/Scott Bernstein (B) def. Alex Gaines/Krishna Jana (N), 8-6
1. Nick Bybel (B) def. Austin Jones (N), 6-4, 6-2
2. Calvin Mark (N) def. Aidan Lynch (B), 6-2, 6-0
3. Blake Daniel (N) def. Bryan Adams (B), 6-0, 6-0
4. Octavio Canibe (B) def. Thomas Pecor (N), 6-3, 6-4
5. Krishna Jana (N) def. Kyle Rosen (B), 7-6 (6), 6-3
6. Alex Gaines (N) def. Jonathan DeFrancesch (B), 6-4, 6-4