WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Bucknell men’s tennis team concluded its 2014 campaign on Friday afternoon, dropping a 4-0 decision to No. 3 Navy in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals, held on Army’s Malek Courts. The Bison, who entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed with a 2-3 Patriot League record, dropped to 3-16 overall with the loss, while the Mids improved to 17-6 and advanced to Saturday’s semifinal round, where they will play the Boston University Terriers.
Navy took the early lead in the match, grabbing the doubles point, but Bucknell challenged every step of the way. Krishna Jana and Alex Gaines earned the first victory of the day in a tiebreak, taking an 8-7 (3) win over junior Octavio Canibe and senior Chris Tortora at No. 3 singles. Calvin Mark and Blake Daniel secured the point for the Mids with their 8-5 defeat of freshman Bryan Adams and senior Scott Bernstein in the No. 2 match, but when play was called, the top Bison pairing of senior Aidan Lynch and sophomore Nick Bybel were tied 6-6 with Austin Jones and Thomas Pecor.
The Mids clinched the match with three wins in singles play, coming out on top in the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 matches, but the 4-0 final score does not tell the story of how close the contest really was. When the victory was clinched by Navy, all three of the remaining matches were in a dead heat. Bybel led Mark 4-1 in the third set of the No. 1 singles match, having lost the first and taken a 6-1 victory in the second, and junior Jonathan DeFrancesch was about to start the third set the No. 5 match after winning the second in a tiebreak. Tortora was also engaged in a fierce battle, holding a 2-1 lead in the second set of the No. 6 match.
“We did what we have been doing all year long,” commented interim head coach Craig Schwartz after the match, “which is battling and competing until the last point is won or lost. Unfortunately we came up a bit short in doubles, and that set the tone for the rest of the match. I am really going to miss the five seniors who have given so much to this program over the last four years.”
Navy 4, Bucknell 0
1. Austin Jones/Thomas Pecor (N) vs. Nick Bybel/Aidan Lynch (B), 6-6 (DNF)
2. Calvin Mark/Blake Daniel (N) def. Bryan Adams/Scott Bernstein (B), 8-5
3. Krishna Jana/Alex Gaines (N) def. Octavio Canibe/Chris Tortora (B), 8-7 (3)
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1 (DNF)
1. Nick Bybel (B) led Calvin Mark (N), 2-6, 6-1, 4-1 (DNF)
2. Austin Jones (N) def. Bryan Adams (B), 6-2, 6-1
3. Thomas Pecor (N) def. Octavio Canibe (B), 6-3, 6-2
4. Blake Daniel (N) def. Kyle Rosen (B), 6-0, 6-3
5. Krishna Jana (N) vs. Jonathan DeFrancesch (B), 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 0-0 (DNF)
6. Tyler Tossavainen (N) led Chris Tortora (B), 7-6 (8-6), 1-2 (DNF)
Order of finish: 4, 2, 3, 1 (DNF), 5 (DNF), 6 (DNF)