LEWISBURG, Pa. – After turning in strong performances for the Bucknell men’s tennis team throughout the fall tournament season, sophomore Nick Bybel (Lancaster, Pa./Hilton Head Christian Academy (S.C.)) and junior Octavio Canibe (Spring, Texas/The John Cooper School) will begin play in the 2013 USTA/ITA Regional Championship on Thursday. Both Bybel and Canibe will compete in the main draw of the singles competition before coming together to compete in the doubles bracket.

Many of the top Division I men’s tennis players will compete at one of the twelve sites playing host to this year’s competition, with Bybel and Canibe headed to Blacksburg, Va. to test their mettle against the best in the Atlantic region. Hosted by Virginia Tech, the tournament will take place from Oct. 17 to Oct. 22 at the school’s Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center. Competition will begin at 9 a.m. each morning and run throughout the day. Results and draws can be found on the USTA/ITA Regional Championships website and on Virginia Tech’s tournament page.

Both Bison will compete in the first round of main draw singles and the first round of main draw doubles on Friday, with Thursday’s competition reserved for pre-qualifying. Bybel will meet James Madison’s Rob Sterling in singles play, while Canibe will go up against Thomas Pecor from Navy. In their second match of the day, the duo will join forces to take on brothers Ethan and Jacob Dunbar from Richmond.   

Bybel, the reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year, has compiled a 12-4 record in singles during fall play, including an A Flight championship at the Bucknell Quad and a fifth place finish at the UVA Fall Classic. He was the first Bison in program history to earn a selection to the ITA All-American Championships, held in late September, defeating Memphis’ Cedric de Zutter in the first round of pre-qualifying before falling to Texas A&M’s Jordan Szabo in the second.

Canibe has played to a 6-5 singles record in the fall season, garnering big wins in each of the tournaments in which he has competed. The duo has not played as a doubles pair this fall, but will look to merge their individual successes into strength as a team this weekend

The USTA/ITA Regional Championship concludes the fall season for the Bison, and Bybel and Canibe will join the rest of the tennis team in a rigorous strength and conditioning schedule in preparation for the spring season.