LEWISBURG, Pa. – After a fall filled with impressive play, the Bucknell tennis teams will conclude the 2013 portion of the season with the Lehigh Invitational, beginning Oct. 4 at Lehigh’s Ulrich Courts in Bethlehem, Pa. The three-day competition, conducted in hidden-dual format, will pit the Bison against squads from Loyola Maryland, Delaware, Temple and Lehigh, allowing for an exciting weekend of tennis before the teams head into the winter off-season.
The women’s team experienced considerable success in September, picking up a flight victory at the Bucknell Quad, five at the Mount Saint Mary’s Invitational and four at the Bucknell Invite. Freshman Jorie Fox and sophomore Stephanie Pino have turned in particularly strong singles performances, as each holds a 7-1 record and a six-game winning streak heading into the weekend. Fox won the D Flight at Mount Saint Mary’s and the Gray Flight at the Bucknell Invite, while Pino was the E Flight champion at Mount Saint Mary’s and the Blue Flight victor at the Bucknell Invite.
As a team, the Bison hold a 22-6 record in doubles play, led by Pino and junior Lydia Colvin, who have suffered just one loss in seven matches. Fox and classmate Melissa Parks have compiled a 6-2 record, while sophomore Maria Cioffi has been a part of two victorious pairs, winning three matches with senior Elena Vidrascu to claim the A Flight title at Mount Saint Mary’s, and teaming with freshman Michele Urbinati to win the North Flight at the Bucknell Invite.
The men have turned in equally strong performances this fall, winning two titles at the Bucknell Quad, and one each at the Mount Saint Mary’s Invitational and the USTA Tournament. Additionally, sophomore Nick Bybel was selected to compete in the prestigious ITA All-American Championships, defeating Memphis’s Cedric de Zutter before falling to Jordan Szabo of Texas A&M in the second round of pre-qualifying.
Bybel currently holds a 9-3 singles record and snatched the A Flight title at the Bucknell Quad, while senior Scott Bernstein has compiled a 7-2 mark in fall tournament play, winning the C Flight at the Bison’s home tournament. Freshmen Jordan Lieb and Colby Burke both enter the weekend in the midst of considerable winning streaks, with Lieb winning his last four matches and Burke playing to victory in his last three. Both rookies have earned a singles title in tournament play as well, with Leib winning the F Flight at the USTA Tournament and Burke taking top honors in the C Flight at Mount Saint Mary’s.
While the majority of the men’s team will be heading to Lehigh to wrap up the fall campaign, Bybel and senior Aidan Lynch will travel to Charlottesville, Va. to compete in the UVA Fall Classic. The tournament will run from Friday to Sunday at UVA’s Snyder Tennis Center, with play beginning at 9 a.m. each day. The Bison will be joined by 21 of the Atlantic Region’s top teams, as players work to break into the rankings prior to the ITA Regional Championships. Bybel and Lynch will represent Bucknell at that competition, to be held from Oct. 17 to 22 at Virgina Tech’s Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center, as well, with Bybel earning the automatic bid in singles and the duo earning the automatic bid in doubles.
At the conclusion of this weekend’s competition, Bybel and Lynch will continue preparations for the ITA Regionals, while the rest of the Bison begin a rigorous strength and conditioning schedule in preparation for the spring season.