LEWISBURG, Pa. – After playing an indoor match last weekend and a non-conference road contest on Monday, the Bucknell men’s tennis team will return to the outdoor tennis courts in Lewisburg this weekend for two Patriot League contests. The Bison, who most recently suffered a one-point defeat by Villanova on Monday, will celebrate Senior Day on Saturday with a 1 p.m. match against Colgate and will play their last home contest of the season on Sunday, welcoming Boston University for an 11 a.m. showdown. In addition to the busy weekend of Patriot League play, the tennis program will be welcoming back many former greats for Alumni Weekend, with events scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“We are looking forward to two big Patriot League battles this weekend,” commented interim head men’s tennis coach Craig Schwartz. “We will need to play our best tennis of the season to get both wins, but I feel that the team is focused and ready to fight to the finish.”
Bucknell enters the weekend with a 2-11 overall record and a 1-1 mark in Patriot League play, with its most recent win coming in the form of a 4-3 triumph over Mount St. Mary’s on March 27. The Bison were also victorious in their conference opener, taking a 6-1 win over Loyola on March 22, but fell to Navy on March 29.
The Bison are led by sophomore Nick Bybel, who holds a 21-9 record in singles play, including a 9-4 mark at the No. 1 spot. Bybel has won each of his last three matches, including both of his Patriot League outings, and currently ranks 23rd in program history in both singles wins (43) and all-time victories (73). In addition to his strong singles play, Bybel has combined with senior Aidan Lynch, who ranks 20th in program history with 40 doubles wins, to earn a 5-3 record at No. 1 doubles.
Colgate comes to Lewisburg with an 8-6 overall record, and a 2-2 mark in conference play. The Raiders earned wins over Holy Cross (7-0) and Navy (5-2), but fell to both Boston University (5-2) and Army (7-0). The Bison, who trail the Raiders 48-16 in the all-time series between the two squads, were victorious when they met in Hamilton, N.Y., last season, taking a 5-2 win. Bucknell swept all three doubles matches to take the point, and clinched the team triumph with four singles wins, including a 6-3, 6-1 triumph by senior Octavio Canibe at the No. 6 spot.
Sunday’s match will feature Patriot League newcomer Boston University, a team that has played to a 6-8 overall record and is undefeated in conference play. The Terriers have earned wins over Lafayette (7-0), Colgate (5-2) and Holy Cross (7-0), and will play a non-conference match against Hartford on Saturday before traveling to Lewisburg. Bucknell and Boston University have met just three times since their inaugural match in 2008, and the Bison have been victorious each time. The last contest between the two squads was on March 18, 2011, and Bucknell walked away from that match with a 4-3 victory.
After this weekend, the Bison will play at Temple on April 12 and at Lafayette on April 13, before concluding their Patriot League regular season with a match at Lehigh on April 16. This year’s men’s tennis Patriot League Tournament will take place from Thursday, April 24 to Sunday, April 27 at Army in West Point, N.Y.