Bucknell Men's Tennis to Battle Niagara, St. Bonaventure This Weekend
Bison Looking for First Win Since Feb. 12
March 4, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell will be looking to snap its three-match skid when it travels to New York to take on Niagara and St. Bonaventure this weekend. The Bison (1-5) will face the Purple Eagles in North Tonawanda on Friday, followed by the Bonnies in Olean at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
ABOUT THE BISON
Bucknell was forced to wait another week to get back on the court after winter weather postponed its match with Binghamton last Saturday. The match has not been rescheduled.
The Bison have been relying on a youth movement for many of their wins on the singles courts this year. Bucknell’s underclassmen have amassed a 43-49 record, including 26-25 from the four freshmen and 17-24 from the three sophomores. The upperclassmen, which have included junior Anton Kovic (Montreal, Quebec/Milton Academy (Mass.)) and senior Zach Hascoe (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick) have combined for a 5-12 record.
That youth has also led to some new doubles combinations in 2009-10. The Bison have used 12 different teams since this fall, and no duo had ever played together prior to the current season. Bucknell is 5-13 at doubles this year.
Bucknell has had some difficulty stringing together its wins this spring. Although several players have at least one victory to their name, only Kovic has been able to gather back-to-back wins. His two-match winning streak came at No. 1 singles against Saint Francis and Georgetown.
No current Bison entered the season with experience at first singles. Kovic and Gregg Cohenca (Purchase, N.Y./Rye Country Day School) have share duties so far this spring with Kovic tallying a 2-3 record and Cohenca at 0-1. Former Bison Ryan Sandburg and Ira Reibeisen earned all starts at No. 1 singles in the last two years.
With his and Josh Katten’s (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK) doubles win against Duquesne two weeks ago, Hascoe is one victory away from tying former teammate Daniel Bednarek for eighth on the all-time doubles wins list. Hascoe is currently 45-24 for his career. One more doubles win for Kovic will also improve his standing on the all-time list. At 42-34, Kovic needs one more win to move into a tie for 10th place, equaling T.K. Kelly and Nick Denefrio.
Niagara comes into the weekend with a 2-5 record. The Purple Eagles bounced back from a season-opening 7-0 loss to Cleveland State for back-to-back wins against Mercyhurst (7-0) and Youngstown State (5-2), but they have are since lost their last four.
The Purple Eagles, which were picked third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Coaches Poll this year, lost as the No. 5 seed in the 2009 MAAC Tournament semifinals to No. 1 Fairfield. Returning from that team is the all-conference doubles tandem of David Lemieux-Sarrasin and Joe Zelic. Both juniors in 2010, they were named Second Team All-MAAC a year ago.
Bucknell is 1-1 in the series against Niagara. The two teams have not met since the Cornell Duals in 2003 when the Purple Eagles took a 5-1 win. Only the doubles team of Aaron Saperstein and Don Whaley claimed a win for the Bison, 7-5, 7-6 (3).
ABOUT ST. BONAVENTURE
St. Bonaventure opened its season with three consecutive losses, including a 4-3 defeat at the hands of Colgate. The Bonnies won their latest contest, 7-0 against Saint Francis (Pa.), bringing their season tally to 1-3.
The Bonnies placed five players on the All-Atlantic 10 teams last year when they finished runner-up in the conference championship. Three of those team members are back for another season, including juniors Chris Post and Mikhail Sudakov, and senior Diego Valdenegro.
Bucknell is 3-7 against the Bonnies since the series began in 1994. The teams met just last season with St. Bonaventure coming out on top 6-1. Mark Malloy (Bronxville, N.Y./Hackley School) won at No. 5 singles, 6-4 and 6-4, although Sandburg and Jonathan Brenner took their singles matches three sets. Sandburg lost to Post at the No. 1 position, while Brenner fell to Sudakov at No. 4. Gregory Maxson (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Hotchkiss) won his exhibition match against Tyler Reppert, 1-6, 6-4, (10-3).
LOOKING AHEAD The Bison will have a short break following their trip through New York. They will return to the court for a road match at Villanova on Saturday, March 20.