Bucknell Tennis Names 2009-10 Team Captains
Oct. 1, 2009
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell tennis has officially named its team captains for the 2009-10 season, head coach Rebecca Helt announced recently. Senior Zach Hascoe (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick) and junior Mark Malloy (Bronxville, N.Y./Hackley School) will lead the men’s squad, while junior Lauren Lucido (Woodstock, Md./St. Paul’s School for Girls) and seniors Kirstyn Sotak (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Hathaway Brown) and Tania Varela (Quito, Ecuador/Alliance Academy) will captain the women’s team.
Hascoe, who is recovering from an injury that began last season, ranks 12th at Bucknell in career singles wins and ninth in career doubles victories. He has also broken into the top 10 in all-time combined wins with an 89-58 career record. The Connecticut native is looking forward to being back on the court to help his team continue its league success in the new season.
“We have one of the strongest teams we have had in a long time. With four strong freshmen on the roster, we are hoping that those guys can build on our already strong lineup,” said Hascoe. “Our goal is the same as it always has been: bring home the Patriot League Championship. We have the talent on this team. We are the deepest we have ever been. We just have to believe we can do it, and I have complete confidence we can reach that goal."
Teammate Malloy has had an equally successful career at Bucknell, ranking 10th all-time in singles wins and in the top 15 in doubles and combined victories. Through two seasons, Malloy has already amassed an 85-41 career record. The Bison’s only All-Patriot League selection last year, Malloy will look to contribute to the team upon his return from studying abroad this fall and the leadership position is a responsibility he is eager to assume.
“It is something that I have strived for and something that has been a goal and dream of mine since I entered Bucknell. I think that some of the most important jobs also come with very challenging responsibilities, all of which I am eager to take on. It seems like yesterday when I became a part of the Bucknell Tennis family, and I remember how my captains looked out for me, and showed me the important aspects about being a team player and creating a positive example and environment for the underclassmen,” said Malloy from his post with Semester at Sea. “Being abroad for the fall semester, I have not been able to be there for the young players who are still learning the ropes and making college adjustments. Zach is a great team leader and someone who you want on your team, whatever sport you are playing. Zach and I work well together and have known each other since we were underclassman in high school. With him helping me adjust back to Bucknell, I look forward to learning more from him about our young team.”
Lucido has come out with one of the team’s hottest starts to the 2009-10 season. The junior began the fall by winning each of her first six singles matches, winning the Flight A draw of the Bucknell Invitational two weeks ago. That streak added to her already impressive career totals, as the two-time All-Patriot League selection ranks ninth all-time at Bucknell with 93 career wins. She also ranks in the top 10 in program history in career singles and doubles victories. Like all of her teammates, Lucido has her eye on that Patriot League trophy.
“I'm really excited about being a captain and working with Tania and Kirstyn to help lead the team throughout this season,” said Lucido. “For the past five seasons, we've made it to the finals of the Patriot League Tournament and come in second place. This year I really do think that we take the title. We definitely have the talent, and as long as we all, as a team, really work hard and push ourselves towards that goal, I think that we can achieve it.”
Although she has not been recognized with many of the same honors as some of her teammates, Sotak has played an equally important role for the Bison during her four years with the squad. Sotak has seen some of her greatest success during the fall season, gathering a 14-17 career singles record in tournaments. She has proved to be a battler this fall, pushing three of her five matches to three sets and earning a fifth-place finish in Flight D singles at the Bucknell Invitational.
“I feel that being captain means leading in a way of setting a good example both on and off the court in order to help every player be the best she can be. Tennis is unique because it is categorized as an individual sport, but we cannot win unless we win as a team,” said Sotak. “I believe that if we all dedicate ourselves to this goal and maintain a positive team atmosphere, it will help us gain our ultimate goal of winning a Patriot League title.”
In her nearly four years in the Orange and Blue, Varela has become one of the most decorated Bison women’s tennis players. She reached a milestone earlier this year by registering her 100th career win and enters the weekend with a 105-45 all-time record, ranking eighth in program history. A former Patriot League Rookie of the Year and a three-time all-league selection, Varela also ranks fifth in career doubles wins and eighth in career singles victories. The native of Ecuador takes her leadership role seriously and sees it as a key component to helping her team achieve success throughout the year.
“I think that leadership is such an important role and is crucial for a team's success,” said Varela. “I really hope to strengthen the unity among the team members, and ultimately perform to our best abilities in not only the Patriot League Championship, but all other tournaments that we participate in. I think that this season we really have great potential to show our true talent and dedication to the sport.”
The quintet of captains and the rest of the Bison will be back on the court Saturday Oct. 3 through Sunday, Oct. 4 for the Bucknell Invitational. Play on the Bucknell Tennis Courts begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Action on Friday was canceled due to bad weather forecasted.