ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Bucknell men’s tennis pulled off an upset as the sixth seed in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Championship for the second straight year, edging third-seeded Lehigh 4-3 on Friday at Navy’s Tose Family Tennis Center.
Bucknell avenged a loss to Lehigh from just five days ago, thanks in large part to taking a 1-0 lead with the doubles point. Bryan Adams and Andrei Vitiuc teamed up for a 6-4 win on court one, while Max Palmer and Max Kane were 6-3 winners on court three.
"I can't say enough how hard the men competed for every point," Bucknell head coach Bruce Myers said. "Lehigh showed why it's the third seed and battled hard. It was a classic Patriot League match that came down to simple execution. Getting the doubles point was a big early lift."
With the match tied at 3-3, freshman Max Palmer showed the grit of a player beyond his collegiate experience, hanging on for a three-set win over Jack Petersen on court two to help the Bison advance to the semifinal round for the third straight year.
Palmer took the early momentum with a thrilling 7-6 (7-5) win in set one, but Petersen, a Second Team All-Patriot League selection last season, came alive with a 6-0 shutout in set two. Instead of cowering under the pressure after a tough defeat, Palmer stayed composed and came through with a 6-4 victory in the third set.
It was a back-and-forth match as far as the team score was concerned, with the teams trading points as each singles match was completed. Wright defeated George Cooper 6-4, 7-5 on court one to put Bucknell up 2-1, and Adams posted a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 victory over Chris Auteri on court five to give the Bison a 3-2 advantage.
"Bryan and Dan really played well, and while Max Palmer wasn't at his fittest, he played the big points well and closed out the match. Now it's all about preparing for tomorrow," Myers said.
Bucknell is now 13-5 all-time in the quarterfinal round of the Patriot League Tournament.
The Bison improved to 11-17 overall and advanced to the semifinal round, where they will play the winner between second-seeded Navy and seventh-seeded Loyola on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Bucknell 4, Lehigh 3
Apr 21, 2017 at Annapolis, Md. (Tose Family Tennis Center)
|1. Daniel Wright (BUCKNELL) def. Cooper, George (LEH) 6-4, 7-5|
|2. Max Palmer (BUCKNELL) def. Petersen, Jack (LEH) 7-6 (7-5), 0-6, 6-4|
|3. Martin-Dyer, Jack (LEH) def. Andrei Vitiuc (BUCKNELL) 2-6, 6-1, 6-1|
|4. Nardella, Colin (LEH) def. Max Kane (BUCKNELL) 7-5, 7-5|
|5. Bryan Adams (BUCKNELL) def. Auteri, Chris (LEH) 7-6 (7-2), 6-3|
|6. Bogard, Ethan (LEH) def. Max McDonald (BUCKNELL) 7-5, 6-3|
|1. Bryan Adams/Andrei Vitiuc (BUCKNELL) def. Cooper, George/Lehman, Graham (LEH) 6-4|
|2. Bogard, Ethan/Nardella, Colin (LEH) vs. Ben Gerber/Daniel Wright (BUCKNELL) 3-5, unfinished|
|3. Max Palmer/Max Kane (BUCKNELL) def. Martin-Dyer, Jack/Petersen, Jack (LEH) 6-3|
|Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (6,1,4,5,3,2)|
|Patriot League Tournament - Quarterfinal|
|#3 Lehigh vs. #6 Bucknell|