Bucknell Tennis Hits Road for Binghamton, Penn Matches this Weekend
Bison Men Challenge Bearcats Saturday, Women Fight Quakers Sunday
Feb. 26, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell tennis will again split forces this weekend with the men’s squad (1-5) headed to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on Binghamton on Saturday, Feb. 27. Matches at Cornell’s Reis Tennis Center are slated for a 2 p.m. start. The women (0-3) will play Penn on Sunday in a noon matchup in Philadelphia.
Bucknell was picked fourth in the Patriot League Preseason Poll on Friday morning. The Bison collected 42 points, trailing first-place Navy, which had 69 points and 14 first-place votes, Army (60 points) and Colgate (48). Lehigh (39), Lafayette (22) and Holy Cross (14) round out the group.
The Bison continued to struggle last weekend, when they took on Duquesne. Bucknell lost 6-1, getting the lone point from Gregg Cohenca (Purchase, N.Y./Rye country Day School) at No. 2 singles. Zach Hascoe (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick School) and Josh Katten (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK) also won their third doubles match.
Binghamton is 5-1 this spring with wins over Brown (5-2), Dartmouth (5-2), Army (5-2), Cornell (5-2) and Marist (6-1). The Bearcats’ lone loss came 4-3 to Columbia in their last match. Prior to facing off against Bucknell, Binghamton will play George Washington on Saturday morning, also at Cornell. The Bearcats return all five of their All-America East players from last year, including the conference’s reigning Player of the Year, Sven Vloedgraven.
Bucknell is 0-7 all-time against Binghamton with the series beginning in 2001. The two teams last met in April 2007 with the Bearcats taking a 4-3 win. Bucknell earned the doubles point and No. 6 singles by default in that match.
After finishing the fall tournament season at 3-7 in singles, Anton Kovic (Montreal, Quebec/Milton Academy (Mass.)) already has a pair of wins this spring with nearly two more months to play. The junior is 2-3 at the No.1 spot with victories over opponents from Saint Francis (Pa.) and Georgetown.
With his and Katten’s wins against Duquesne last week, Hascoe is one doubles victory away from tying former teammate Daniel Bednarek for eighth on the all-time wins list. Hascoe is currently 45-24 in doubles 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.
Entering the weekend, the Bison are 1-5 for the first time since the 2004-05 season. Bucknell earned its second win in the sixth match of that season, defeating Duquesne 5-2. The Bison finished 9-14 that year.
The Patriot League Preseason Poll was released on Friday with the Bucknell women’s squad earning third in a vote of coaches and sports information directors. The Bison totaled 56 points, including two first-place votes. Leading the pack was Army with 71 points and 11 first-place votes. Colgate (60 pts.) was second, Navy and Lehigh tied for fourth (42), Lafayette in sixth (21) and Holy Cross in seventh (20).
Bucknell played a tight one against Duquesne last weekend, but fell 4-3 at the West Branch Tennis Club in Williamsport. The Bison opened by taking the doubles point with wins by Tania Varela (Quito, Ecuador/Alliance Academy) and Lauren Lucido (Woodstock, Md./St. Paul’s School for Girls) at No. 1 and Dumitrita Iepuras (Chisinau, Moldova/Germantown Friends School) and Daria Tuzhikova (Minsk, Belarus/Gymnasium No. 7) at No. 3. Lucido and Varela claimed Bucknell’s final points at first and second singles, respectively, with 6-2, 6-1 wins in both matches.
Penn enters the weekend 2-4 this spring with wins over Drexel (6-1) and Saint Joseph’s (7-0). The Quakers finished last season with a 3-14 record overall and 2-5 in the Ivy League and return their lone All-Ivy League selection Maria Anisimova. Anisimova earned second team honors a year ago but has not played in 2010.
Sunday marks the first meeting between Bucknell and Penn in program history.
Lucido made her first appearance of the season at No. 1 singles against Duquesne. The junior is now 7-1 in her career at that position.
Bucknell is 0-3 in dual matches so far this spring. That is not entirely new territory as the Bison also started the 2007-08 season 0-3. That team went on to finish 9-11 and runner-up to Army in the Patriot League Championship.
The Bucknell sophomores and juniors have had some great success in their careers. The sophomore class of Iepuras, Courtney Casey (Rockville, Md./Georgetown Visitation) and Liz Larkin (Blue Bell, Pa./Germantown Academy) have posted a .582 winning percentage (71-51) in less than two years in the Orange and Blue. The junior cohort of Lucido, Dara Dwojewski (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) and Lauren Rottkamp (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y./Cold Spring Harbor) are at .565 (177-136) in their careers.
LOOKING AHEAD Both teams will head to New York state next weekend for a series of matches. Bucknell will take on Niagara on Friday, March 5 and St. Bonaventure on Saturday. The women’s squad will continue to Syracuse on Sunday, March 7.