Men’s tennis sizees up competition

Cooper Mead

Writer

The Bison traveled to Philadelphia for the Saint Joseph’s Invitational this past weekend, getting off to an explosive start by winning nine of their first 11 matches on day one. Five of those matches were in singles play and two of them were against fellow Patriot League contenders.

Evan Zimmer ’13 defeated Jose Sierra from Saint Joseph’s by a score of 6-4, 6-4 in Flight 1 singles action. Nick Bybel ’16 defeated Thomas O’Brien of Villanova 6-3, 6-3. Bybel and Zimmer also competed in a doubles bout against Lafayette’s Brandon Goldstein and James Oliver, winning 8-1. The duo proceeded through to the quarterfinals and defeated Max Montague and Andreas Urrea of Saint Joseph’s by a score of 8-3.

Partners Josh Katten ’13 and Kelly Morque ’13 also had significant doubles wins as they defeated Army’s Rashad Shelton and Ben Davies by a score of 8-6 and then defeated Hofstra’s Ari Richman and Adrien Bailly by a score of 8-5. Other victories on day one included Katten’s defeat of Kristian Broaddus 6-3, 6-0, and Aidan Lynch ’14 and Jonathan DeFrancesch ’15 also won their singles bouts.

On the second day of the invitational, the Bison emerged with a .500 record on the day. Singles action was highly contested, with three matches going into super tiebreaks.  Zimmer defeated Mark Miller of Villanova 3-6, 6-3, 10-5, but he later lost in the quarterfinals to Skyler Davis of Drexel 6-4, 6-4. Similarly, Octavio Canibe ’15 defeated Max Montague of Saint Joseph’s 3-6, 6-0, 10-5, but fell to Army’s Roman Cacha 6-1, 1-6, 10-4 in his second super tiebreaker of the day in the quarterfinals.

Katten and Lynch tallied victories in the second round against Patriot League opponents, with Lynch beating Army’s Ron Verano 6-2, 6-1 and Katten defeating Chris Matturri of Lafayette 6-4, 6-0. Morque also won his consolation singles match 7-5, 6-4 against Hofstra’s Antonio Pena.

The final day of the Saint Joseph’s Invitational was a struggle for the Bison. Morque and Katten lost to Alex Veronis and Jose Sierra from Saint Joseph’s 9-7 in the quarterfinals. Bybel and Zimmer also failed to defeat Alex Holland and Henry Jang-Milsten from Army, losing 8-3. Despite the doubles struggles, Morque won the Flight 2 singles consolation draw  by defeating Pierre Brondeau of Saint Joseph’s winning the first set 6-2, dropping the second in a tiebreaker, and winning in a super tiebreaker 10-6. He then proceeded to defeat Joseph LaBate from La Salle 6-2, 6-4.

“It was a really up and down weekend for us. We had some solid individual performances across the board, but we never really gained momentum throughout the weekend,” Morque said.

“This was a very good tournament, aside from the injuries,” Lynch said. “Everyone got a lot of matches, which is always important early on in the year. We saw some very good things and hopefully will continue to get better this weekend.”

The Bison will attempt to improve on the week’s performance as they get ready for their last home matches of the fall in the Bucknell Invitational this weekend.