Last Friday, the men’s tennis team travelled to Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to compete in the Patriot League Championship Tournament. The fourth-seeded Raiders took on the fifth-seeded Bucknell Bison in the quarterfinal round. Though the match was hard fought, Colgate was defeated by the Bucknell team, bringing an end to a terrific season.
“Although this is obviously a tough way to end the season for our squad, I will still look back on this season as a great year,” senior Alan Pleat said of the disappointing match.
Though the Raiders entered the tournament having won eight out of their last nine matches, including an extremely impressive comeback victory over Bucknell just twelve days prior, the day immediately got off to a rocky start when Bucknell took the doubles point and gained an early advantage. First-year Jacob Daugherty and junior Tom Haile were unable to take the first doubles match, which Bucknell won with a score of 8-1.
This was followed by the 8-6 loss of sophomores Win Reynolds and Bobby Alter in the third doubles. As a result, Pleat and junior Nick Laub were unable to complete the second doubles match. The singles matches proved to be equally challenging for Colgate. After getting off to such a difficult start, the team struggled to regain the ground they
“Although we made a solid push midmatch to get ourselves back on track, it was too little too late,” Pleat said.
Shortly after Daugherty was defeated in the first singles match with scores of 6-0 and 6-1, Laub was overcome in the third singles match, which concluded with scores of 6-4 and 6-2. Finally, Pleat was defeated in second singles with scores of 6-2 and 6-3. As a result, the Bison were able to claim all three singles points, and the match came to a close with Bucknell emerging as the victor. The final score of the match was 4-0.
Though this loss was particularly disheartening after having such an excellent regular season, the underwhelming performance of the team has been attributed to the fervor of the Bucknell team.
“Having beaten Bucknell the last two times we played them, we knew we were capable of doing so again. We also knew that Bucknell would come out hungry on their home courts this time for revenge,” Pleat said when asked about the loss.
Additionally, when asked about the competition, head coach Bobby Pennington described Colgate’s performanced as “flat.” Despite a disappoint post-season experience, this year’s men’s team has had an extrodinary season, earning one of the most impressive records in recent history.
“The men had an excellent regular season, finishing 14 and 7,” said Pennington when asked about the performance of this year’s squad, noting that this was “our best record in nearly 20 years.” The team has not performed this well since the 1996-1997 season. Because of all the incredible strides and progress the team has made this year improving its game, it has much to look forward to in the fall.
“I am proud of my team and have had the most fun this year of all of my four years on the team. I have made some lifelong friends and I can’t wait to see the great things they do for our team next year. Laub, Haile, and Pronchick will be great leaders,” Pleat said about his time as part of Colgate’s tennis program.
Though Bucknell was able to advance to semifinals, the Bison were knocked out of the competition after going up against West Point the following day. West Point, who was seeded first at the tournament’s start, advanced to the finals. On Sunday, they competed against the second-seeded Navy, who had defeated Boston University the previous day. Navy would go on to take the tournament, winning the Patriot League Championship and buying itself a ticket to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament, which will take place in Waco, Texas in May.