Bucknell Tennis Announces Team Captains
July 16, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell tennis' Josh Katten (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK), Kelly Morque (Rye, N.Y./Rye), Evan Zimmer (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex), Elizabeth Morgan (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne's-Belfield School) and Elena Vidrascu (Rochester, N.Y./Pittsford Sutherland) have been named team captains, head coach Rebecca Helt announced recently. The veteran group of Bison will lead the squads through the 2012-13 season, which is slated to begin in early September.
Zimmer, who will captain the Bison for a second season, enjoyed one of the most successful campaigns in program history last year. The rising senior, along with doubles partner Gregg Cohenca, became the first the first from both Bucknell and the Patriot League to qualify individually for the NCAA Tournament. Prior to the postseason appearance in Athens, Ga., where they took on No. 7 Kentucky, Zimmer set the single-season school record in doubles victories. A Second Team All-Patriot League selection, he finished the year at 31-7 in doubles and was second on the squad in singles wins with a 19-13 mark.
"I am honored to be named tri-captain alongside fellow teammates Kelly and Josh," said Zimmer. "I am highly confident that the three of us will take this team to new heights during our final year as Bison.
"Last year as captain was one of the most rewarding learning experiences I have ever had and to be able to do it for a second time, I am truly grateful. I look forward to passing on my leadership and communication qualities I have acquired from our past team captains. I am also very excited to watch the underclassmen grow into mature individuals. With such a close-knit group, I know the incoming freshmen will soon realize the lifelong relationships we form as a team."
Zimmer is one of three seniors and seven upperclassmen returning in 2012-13. The Bison have advanced to the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals each of the last five seasons.
"With last year's close conference matches, we need to push each other even harder this year each and every single day, both on and off the court," Zimmer continued. "With the talented and experienced returning players as well as the incoming recruiting class, I know we are capable of raising the bar. Ultimately, we all will come together and strive as one to compete to bring home the Patriot League Championship."
Katten brings his own history of success to his senior campaign. His 22-11 singles mark last year gave him the most solo wins on the team, a feat he also achieved as a freshman. Katten also closed out his junior season with a 25-10 record in doubles, including an 11-1 tally when playing alongside Zimmer.
"It has an honor to be a captain and to be a leader on a team alongside two of my close friends," said Katten after earning the leadership position. "As a member of the Bucknell Tennis team we all share a collective goal, and with hard work we all hope to achieve our goals as a collective although our sport is primarily played as an individual. As a captain, I hope to see every single member of the team have their leadership moment at one point during the season."
As one of Bucknell's most consistent players throughout his career, particularly in doubles play, Morque set career highs in wins in both singles (15) and doubles (18) last season. When playing with Katten during the 2011-12 campaign, Morque was 14-9 overall, including 11-2 in the fall. On the singles court he enjoyed his most successful streak at the beginning of his sophomore season where he went undefeated in the fall and ultimately pulled out a 12-match winning streak.
"I am thrilled to have been named a captain for the upcoming tennis season. Bucknell Tennis has meant so much to me the last few years, and I have been extremely privileged to be part of such a close-knit group of people," said Morque. "This leadership position is a responsibility which I am eager to take on with Evan and Josh. They are ideal teammates, and I couldn't think of better leaders to have by my side this year. We will strive to lead by example every single day in an effort to maintain a positive team atmosphere and dedicated work ethic. We have a talented group of guys this year, but more importantly, we have a group of guys that are absolutely committed to Bucknell, to this team, and to winning a league championship. I look forward to the start of our season and seeing everyone back at school."
All three Bison men have already inked their names to the program record books. Entering his final season, Katten ranks No. 8 all-time in career singles wins (53-39) and is No. 6 in both doubles (58-30) and combined wins (111-69). Morque is 15th in doubles (44-40) and 18th in combined (80-64), while Zimmer is 16th in singles (46-27), eighth (56-26) in doubles and 10th (102-53) in combined victories.
Bucknell women's tennis will look to a pair of juniors in Morgan and Vidrascu for their leadership. Vidrascu has made an impact for the Bison since coming to campus two years ago. As a sophomore she led the team in singles victories (12-15) and was second in doubles (11-16). Her 15 doubles wins as a rookie also made her the winningest player returning in 2011-12. Vidrascu needs just two more doubles wins to crack the program career top 25 rankings.
"It means a lot to me to be named co-captain," said Vidrascu. "I wanted this position so I can help turn this team around and show what we're really capable of. I can't say anything for sure yet, but 2012-13 will be a strong year for Bucknell Women's Tennis. I can feel it!"
Morgan enters her junior campaign with a wealth of experience in a support role for the Bison. While playing at fifth and sixth singles, she has clinched more than one match for Bucknell and improved her career record with five singles victories last season. Morgan also set a career high in doubles last year, going 5-2 in the spring while playing primarily with recent graduate Dumitrita Iepuras. She and Iepuras also helped secure a Patriot League Tournament Quarterfinal win, 8-4 over their opponents from Lehigh.
"I am truly honored to serve as co-captain and help lead the team in the upcoming season," said Morgan. "With a strong foundation of talented returning players and a great group of promising new freshman teammates, I know that we will be able to reach our fullest potential this year with hard work and dedication - not only as individuals, but also as a whole. There is no doubt in my mind that if we train hard every day, we will reach our ultimate goal of winning the Patriot League Championships."
The Bucknell men's squad finished the 2011-12 season with a 9-14 record, including 2-3 in the Patriot League. The women were 7-17 overall and 2-3 in conference play.