LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell men’s tennis team, which earned its first win of the season over Loyola last Saturday, will return to the courts for two matches this week, traveling to Mount St. Mary’s for a 3 p.m. contest on Thursday before welcoming Navy to Lewisburg at 12 p.m. on Saturday. The Bison were originally scheduled to play the Mount on March 19, but that match was postponed due to weather.
Bucknell enters this week’s competition with a 1-9 overall record and a 1-0 mark in the Patriot League, having defeated Loyola by a score of 6-1 on Saturday before dropping a 5-2 decision to Delaware on Sunday. The win over the Greyhounds gave the Bison a victory in their Patriot League opener, and also handed interim head coach Craig Schwartz his first triumph at the helm of the program.
Bucknell earned the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles against Loyola, and also earned five points in singles play, taking every match except for the No. 2 bout. Sophomore Nick Bybel and junior Octavio Canibe were both 2-0 on the day, with Bybel playing to victory in both No. 1 matches and Canibe coming out on top in each of the No. 3 contests. Both of the Bison’s points against Delaware came in singles play, with seniors Kyle Rosen and Scott Bernstein earning victories at No. 5 singles and No. 6 singles, respectively.
Bybel currently leads the Bison in singles wins this season, playing to an 18-9 record that includes six wins at the No. 1 spot, while senior Aidan Lynch has tallied a team-best 11-9 record in doubles play. Bybel currently ranks 23rd in program history in all-time singles wins (40-18), while Lynch is 20th in doubles victories (38-26).
Mount St. Mary’s, which currently holds an 8-7 record, most recently played to a 7-0 win over UMES on March 22. The Mount won three of the matches by default, but also earned wins at No.1 and No 2 doubles, as well as straight-set victories in all four of the singles bouts contested. Bucknell and Mount St. Mary’s have squared off 17 times since 1992, and the Bison have been victorious on 15 occasions, including a 5-2 win on March 27 of last season.
Navy has proven to be quite the formidable foe for Bucknell however, as the Mids are currently 37-0 in the all-time series, which dates back to 1950. The Naval Academy was picked to finish second in the Patriot League preseason poll, and has currently played to a 13-6 record. The Mids most recently dropped a 5-2 decision to Richmond on Sunday, and will open their conference slate against the Bison on Saturday.
After this week’s contests, the Bison will travel to Villanova for a 2:30 p.m. match on Monday, March 31, before returning home for two more Patriot League contests on the first weekend in April.