HERSHEY, Pa. – Bucknell continued its trend of matches with closely-contested singles contests as it posted a 5-0 win over Siena in a non-conference men’s tennis match Friday at the Hershey Racquet Club. The Bison and Saints left with identical 6-4 records.
“This was one of the best matches I’ve seen in a long time,” Bucknell head coach Rebecca Helt said. “We came out very solid in doubles after making a slight change to the teams. That got the momentum going for us.”
The one Bucknell doubles team that stayed the same was Lisa Jouravleva and Paige Leavy on court one, and they continued their success this spring. The duo improved to 8-2 with their fourth consecutive victory, posting a 6-2 score.
Emilie Bush and Cayla Koch followed with a 6-2 win on court two to clinch the doubles point, and Mishi Papich teamed with Sofia Ayuso to make it a clean sweep with a 6-4 victory on court three. Both teams were playing together for the first time.
Papich and Koch got things going in singles for the Bison. Both won in straight sets, but not without a challenge. Papich posted a 7-6 (4), 6-2 score on court three, while Koch was a 7-6 (5), 7-5 winner on court four.
“Mishi went up 5-2 right away but then lost the lead. She ended up taking the first set in a tiebreak. After that, she rolled through her second set to put the second point on the board,” Helt said. “Cayla battled from behind most of the first set but really turned it on in the crucial tiebreaker. She played smart and solid to close out the match and put the third point on the board.”
Jouravleva clinched the match for the Bison with a three-set win on court one, 6-7, 7-5, 10-5. Leavy followed with a 6-7, 7-5, 15-11 win on court two.
“Both Lisa and Paige dropped their first sets but it was an all-out battle to win the second,” Helt said. “Lisa controlled the 10-point tie-breaker to win her match. Paige faced three match points against her opponent, but her determination was incredible.”
Jouravleva improved to 8-1 on the spring, while Leavy upped her record to 6-4.
Ayuso and Madeline Melch had large leads on courts five and six, respectively, but the matches went unfinished due to time constraints.
The Bison will play their first Patriot League match of the season when they take on Colgate on Saturday. The match is scheduled for 5 p.m. at the Hershey Racquet Club.