Bucknell Tennis Looks for Winning Streak vs. Villanova Saturday Bison Close Spring Break Schedule at 1 p.m. at Villanova
March 19, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell tennis will try to start its first winning streak of the season as it travels to Villanova on Saturday to take on the Wildcats at the Villanova Tennis Complex. Women's action kicks off at 1 p.m., followed by the men at 1:30 p.m. Both Bison squads are coming off mid-week victories and will try to extend their Spring Break success to claim a 10th series win over the Wildcats.
The Bison men split their matches earlier in the week, falling 4-3 to Denison on Monday before defeating North Georgia 5-1 in a shortened bout on Wednesday. Bucknell's record now stands at 2-8.
Rebecca Helt hit a pair of milestones with the team's win over North Georgia. Now in her eighth season coaching the men's squad, and 13th overall at Bucknell, Helt has a career record of 200-220. She also tied Floyd Ballentine (1924-44) for fourth on the list of most men's matches coached at Bucknell with 165.
Josh Katten (Plainview, N.Y./Plainview JFK) and Kelly Morque (Rye, N.Y./Rye) each have two-match winning streaks going in singles. Katten's wins over Denison and North Georgia snapped a five-match skid, while Morque's victories were the first of the spring for the freshman.
With his three-set victory over North Georgia's Grant Partrick, Katten became the first Bison this season hit to double-digit wins in singles. The freshman is now 11-10 while playing at the third through sixth positions. Gregg Cohenca (Purchase, N.Y./Rye Country Day School), Morque and Ryan Marcil (Vero Beach, Fla./Saint Edward's) are next in line with eight wins apiece.
With two wins this week, Zach Hascoe (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick) improved his career combined record to 95-64. The senior is looking to become the first Bison to hit 100 career victories since former teammates Jonathan Brenner and Daniel Bednarek hit the mark last season. Hascoe collected a doubles win against Denison and defeated his North Georgia opponent in singles 6-0, 6-0 this week.
Anton Kovic (Montreal, Quebec/Milton Academy (Mass.)) may have finished the mid-week schedule 1-2, but the junior did not go without a fight. Kovic took both his singles contests to a third set and pushed his doubles match with Morque to a 9-7 decision against Denison. He has now played in a team-leading eight three-set matches, earning a 5-3 record in those situations after defeating the Saints' No. 1 player 7-6, 6-7, 10-4.
Villanova enters the weekend with an overall record of 2-11 a year after finishing the 2009 campaign 8-11 overall and 0-4 in the BIG EAST. The Wildcat men's two victories this season came 5-2 against Delaware in September and 4-3 against Sacred Heart in their latest match on March 13.
The Bucknell men will be looking for a bit of revenge after taking a 4-3 loss to Villanova last season, dropping the all-time series record to 9-4 in favor of the Bison. Kovic won both matches in 2009, teaming with Ryan Sandburg for the 9-8 doubles win before taking a three-set victory in singles. Bucknell and Villanova also met briefly at the Northeast Intercollegiate this fall. The Wildcats were 2-1 in those meetings.
Bucknell defeated North Georgia 7-0 earlier in the week to bring its season record to 3-5. The Bison's match against Denison was suspended due to darkness with the Big Red leading 4-2.
All three of Bucknell's wins this spring have come by a score of 7-0. The Bison also swept Niagara and St. Bonaventure earlier this month.
Several Bison enter the weekend with winning streaks, including Carlin Calcaterra (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) with two singles wins and Courtney Casey (Rockville, Md./Georgetown Visitation) with three victories in singles. Tania Varela (Quito, Ecuador/Alliance Academy) and Lauren Lucido (Woodstock, Md./St. Paul's School for Girls) have taken their streaks to another level, however, as the duo has combined for seven straight doubles wins. Varela also has won her last six singles matches, bringing her spring combined record to 10-2.
Lucido and Varela's doubles success brings their spring record to 7-2. Dumitrita Iepuras (Chisinau, Moldova/Germantown Friends School) and Daria Tuzhikova (Minsk, Belarus/Gymnasium No. 7) are also 7-2 together in doubles this spring with the help of a five-match winning streak earlier this month. They have now won six of their last eight.
The Bison have three players approaching 20 wins in singles this year in Varela (18-6), Lucido (16-6) and Iepuras (14-9). The last time three or more Bison finished a season with 20 or more singles victories was in 2004-05 with Tanya Sichko (22-10), Nada Curcic (31-4), Veronica Brown (20-8) and Chelsea Mills (23-9). That quartet holds the top four spots for most career singles victories in Bucknell history.
Varela is trying to join those record-holding Bison in the history books and her three wins earlier this week moved her one step closer to accomplishing that. The senior is currently tied for fifth all-time in career singles wins (62-25), tied for fourth in doubles wins (62-30) and in sole possession of fifth in combined wins (124-55).
Villanova has continued its struggles into 2010, heading into the weekend with a 0-10 record. The Wildcats have been unable to rack up any points in dual action, falling by scores of 7-0 or 9-0 in all but one match. Allison Solberg won her No. 3 singles match in three-sets at UC San Diego to give Villanova its only individual win of the spring, but the Wildcats still lost 8-1 as a team in California. In 2009, Villanova was 1-15 overall and 1-7 in the BIG EAST.
Bucknell leads in the all-time series, 9-3. That record was helped by a 7-0 victory last season. The Bison swept singles play and took two of three in doubles. All but one match was decided in straight sets.
This will not be the first time the two teams have met this season as the Bison hosted the Wildcats at the Bucknell Invitational in September. Bucknell finished 6-1 in matches against Villanova.
LOOKING AHEAD Bucknell will wrap up its lengthy road trip with Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday, March 23 in Emmitsburg, Md. The Bison will then return to their own courts for the first time in more than a month, hosting Navy in the Patriot League opener on Saturday, March 27.