UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Bucknell women’s tennis team opened up its 2014 spring campaign on Saturday afternoon, falling 6-1 to No. 49 Penn State at the Penn State Indoor Tennis Center. Freshman Melissa Parks earned the squad’s only point of the afternoon, playing to a straight-set victory at No. 6 singles, as the Bison fall to 0-1 in the young season. The Nittany Lions, who opened their season on Saturday morning with a 5-2 win over Cleveland State, improve to 2-0 with the victory.  

“The team played pretty well today,” said head women’s tennis coach Rebecca Helt, “and more importantly, every player stuck to their early season goals. Points were long and well-constructed, but we just didn't quite have the speed or conditioning to close out the games.”

All three of Bucknell’s doubles pairings but up valiant fights, but Penn State claimed the point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. Junior Lydia Colvin and freshman Michele Urbinati dropped a 6-1 decision to Marie Bedard and Dasha Sapogova at the No. 2 spot, while sophomore Stephanie Pino and junior Alyssa McAndrew fell to Katherine Whiteaway and Taylor Shukow by a score of 6-3. Senior Elena Vidrascu and sophomore Maria Cioffi held a 5-4 lead in their match when the Nittany Lions claimed the doubles point.

“Our doubles play looked solid for this early in the season,” commented Helt. “Elena and Maria, our No. 1 doubles paring, were about to serve for the match, but the play was stopped by the officials once Penn State claimed the point.” 

Each of the six singles matches were decided in straight sets, with Parks earning Bucknell’s lone victory at No. 6 singles. The rookie defeated Penn State’s Lisa Petruzillo, 6-2 and 6-1, improving her overall singles record to 7-4. Several other Bison challenged their Nittany Lion opponents however, with Colvin, playing at No. 3 singles, and Urbinati, playing at No. 4 singles, each forcing sets to extra points with their tough style of play.  

The Bison will now return to training for two weeks before taking to the tennis courts for their first home match of the season. The squad will host St. Francis (Pa.) at the West Branch Tennis Club in Williamsport, Pa. on Saturday, Feb.1, with action set to begin at 1 p.m.

No. 49 Penn State 6, Bucknell 1
1. Elena Vidrascu/Maria Cioffi (B) led Chelsea Utting/Carmen Sandor (P), 5-4 DNF
2. Marie Bedard/Dasha Sapogova (P) def. Lydia Colvin/Michele Urbinati (B), 6-1
3. Katherine Whiteaway/Taylor Shukow (P) def. Stephanie Pino/Alyssa McAndrew (B), 6-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3

1. Carmen Sandor (P) def. Maria Cioffi (B), 6-2, 6-4
2. Dasha Sapogova (P) def. Elena Vidrascu (B), 6-1, 6-0
3. Marie Bedard (P) def. Lydia Colvin (B), 6-1, 7-5
4. Katherine Whiteaway (P) def. Michele Urbinati (B), 7-5, 6-2
5. Taylor Shukow (P) def. Jorie Fox (B), 6-2, 6-0
6. Melissa Parks (B) def. Lisa Petruzillo (P), 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: 2, 3, 4, 1. 5, 6