Bybel ’16 put the Bison on the map
Nick Bybel ’16 made Orange and Blue history this past weekend as the first Bison to participate in the ITA All-American
Championships in Tulsa, Okla., where he competed in the same tournament as other Division I powerhouses like Virginia, Florida, and Texas. Bybel defeated Cedric de Zutter of Memphis in the first round (7-6, 6-3) but lost to Jordan Szabo of Texas A&M in the second round (4-6, 3-6).
In the captivating and suspenseful match against de Zutter, just as Bybel scored four points in a row and took the lead 5-4, the weather took a turn for the worse and rained out the match. This forced the game to continue indoors, where Bybel and de Zutter resumed play after an hour of delay.
“He stuck to a simple game plan, and as the match went on his execution just got better … The key to Nick’s win was in the return of de Zutter’s serves,” head coach Rebecca Helt said.
The return of serves was crucial to the Bison victory in the second set. Bybel was able to break his opponent in the first game, which was the only service break of the entire match. This allowed him to move up 5-3 and serve out the end of the match.
“He just kept working and once he started to put solid returns in, he made his opponent work hard for every service game. Eventually he got the key break [and had a] very solid performance,” Helt said.
After a great win against de Zutter,
Bybel hoped to continue and defeat Szabo in the second round.
Bybel lost 4-6, 3-6 but was able to take away experience that will hopefully aid him for the rest of the season.
“Nick won most of the baseline points by hitting deep and heavy, but his opponent had an aggressive serve and volley style of play, and Nick struggled coming up with the passing shot,” Helt said.
“It was awesome to see where our program matches up with the top programs from across the country,” Bybel said.
The team will split up today to compete at the UVA Invitational in Charlottesville, Va. and the Lehigh Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.