LEWISBURG, Pa. – Bucknell tennis opens its 2010 competition schedule against a pair of in-state opponents on Saturday. The Bison men will travel to Philadelphia to take on Penn at 3 p.m., while the women will make the trip to University Park to challenge Penn State at 11 a.m.
It has been nearly four months since the Bison were last on the court, competing at the Bucknell Invitational on Oct. 3-4. Kelly Morque (Rye, N.Y./Rye) advanced to the semifinals in both the singles and doubles draws. The freshman pushed his singles match to a super tiebreaker before falling 10-4 in the end. Play was equally close in doubles as he and classmate Josh Katten (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK) were defeated 8-6.
Katten and another freshman, Ryan Marcil (Vero Beach, Fla./Saint Edward’s), both made quite a statement during their first season in the Orange and Blue. Each Bison recorded a team-best 8-4 singles record through the fall. Morque was also 8-3 in doubles action.
Anton Kovic (Montreal, Quebec/Milton Academy (Mass.)) is one of three Bison attempting to move up the Bucknell record lists this spring. The junior recently improved to 14th all-time in doubles victories (40) and is tied for 26th in combined wins (60). Also looking to improve their positions are Mark Malloy (Bronxville, N.Y./Hackley School), who is 10th in singles and combined victories as well as 15th in doubles wins, and Zach Hascoe (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick), who ranks ninth in doubles wins, 10th in combined wins (89) and 12th in singles wins (45). Malloy and Hascoe both missed the fall season as Malloy was studying abroad last semester and Hascoe was recovering from an injury.
The Bison will spend much of their non-conference schedule on the road this spring. That trend will change in Patriot League action, however, as they welcome three of five league foes and host the Patriot League Tournament in April.
The last time any of the Bison women were on the court was in late October with Tania Varela (Quito, Ecuador/Alliance Academy) and Carlin Calcaterra (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) competing that the ITA Regional Championships. The seniors teamed up in doubles, but fell in the first round. Varela also fell in straight sets in her singles match.
Despite the tough end to the fall season, Varela still moved into the top 10 at Bucknell in career singles victories. She now ranks eighth with 52 solo wins. She is also fifth in career doubles victories (55) and sixth in combined victories (107).
Varela is not the only Bison in the Bucknell record books. Lauren Lucido (Woodstock, Md./St. Paul’s School for Girls), Calcaterra, Dara Dwojewski (Chester, N.J./West Morris Mendham) and Dumitrita Iepuras (Chisinau, Moldova/Germantown Friends School) each rank in the top 30 on at least one career victories lists.
Iepuras began the year where she left off her freshman campaign. Now a sophomore, Iepuras was named the Patriot League Player of the Month in September, just months after earning the league’s Rookie of the Year honor. Iepuras led all Bison in singles victories this fall with an 11-2 record.
Lucido is coming up on a career milestone this spring, needing six more victories to bring her singles and doubles combined wins total to 100. After Lucido started the fall with seven consecutive singles wins, the junior’s record over the last two-plus years is 96-42.
Like the men’s squad, the Bison women will spend much of their spring traveling to their opponents’ home courts. The Bucknell faithful’s first chance at seeing some spring tennis in Lewisburg will be Feb. 23 when the Orange and Blue face Pittsburgh.
LOOKING AHEAD The spring season will get busy in a hurry for the Orange and Blue. The Bison men will travel to Queens, N.Y., to take on St. John’s at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30. The women’s squad will also head to New York but will compete in Ithaca at the Cornell Invitational. Competition begins Friday, Jan. 29 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 31.