The men’s tennis team continued its early season success by earning one individual title and two runner-up titles at the USTA Invitational this past weekend in Flushing Meadows, NY. Jordan Lieb ’17 pulled off a three-set victory over Plamen Avuski of St. Francis to claim the Flight F Singles title for the Orange and Blue. The Bison also saw Nick Bybel ’16 and Octavio Canibe ’15 make it to the finals in Flights A and C respectively.
“This weekend was absolutely awesome for us,” Kyle Rosen ’14 said. “I was proud as a captain to see so many of my teammates performing to their potential. Jordan Lieb, our first-year, was able to pull out a huge victory in his bracket. Octavio was able to make it to the finals of his bracket. As always, Nick Bybel was performing to the best of his capabilities and made it to the finals of his bracket.”
Playing in the biggest tournament of his young career with the Bison, Lieb won all four of his matches over the three days. On day one, Lieb recorded two three-set victories over second-seeded Jacob Solly of Marist and AJ Aziz of Boston College. Against Solly, Lieb dropped the first set but managed to rally to earn the upset victory.
In the semifinals, Lieb came face to face with fellow teammate Aidan Lynch ’14 and claimed the 6-3, 6-4 victory to advance to the finals. There, Lieb played his toughest match of the weekend, needing three extremely competitive sets to earn the title against St. Francis. Though Lieb fell 3-6 in the first round, he rallied late in the second set to take a 7-6 victory and then carried this momentum into the tiebreaking set to become the sole Bison to claim a title.
In the A singles flight, Bybel cruised through the competition during the early rounds, winning his first three matches in straight sets. In the finals, Bybel faced off against third-seeded Arvis Berzins of Fairleigh Dickinson and fell 7-5, 6-0.
In C singles, Canibe dominated his first round match but then faced a series of grueling matches over the next three rounds. In the semifinals, Canibe needed three intense sets to overcome the second-seeded opponent, but ultimately won 11-9 in the tiebreaker. Canibe then fell in straight sets to Dylan Fletcher of Marist.
“Overall, there was a positive mentality and a strong sense of unity for our team. I have no doubt that this will continue moving forward,” Rosen said.
After its third consecutive weekend of action, the Orange and Blue will rest this weekend before splitting up for two invitationals at Virginia and Lehigh on Oct. 4-6. Bybel will compete tomorrow in the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla.