The Colgate men’s tennis team closed its season with a disappointing defeat to the Bucknell University Bison by a score of 5-1 in last Saturday’s Patriot League Quarterfinals. The Raiders will have finished the campaign with a 6-12 record. Five of their wins came against Division I teams, while the other came against the University of Rochester, which participates in Division III.
The match began with the two teams playing for the all-important doubles point. In the No. 1 position, senior captain Phil Bernasek and junior Connor Feuille teamed up for the first time and fell defeated by a dominant score of 8-1. In the No. 2 position, the sophomore duo of Parker Lewis and Alex Goldstein put forth a strong effort but Bucknell’s second pair proved to be too much and the Raiders lost by a score of 8-5, which resulted in Colgate losing the point. Junior Sean Spellberg and first-year Luke Gensburg were locked in a ferocious battle, trailing 7-6 when the match was stopped, given that the Raiders could no longer win the point. Colgate entered singles play already trailing by a point.
In the Patriot League Tournament, once the point differential is greater than what one team can overcome, all remaining matches are stopped, which means that several of the matches were stopped before ending. Spellberg played for Colgate in the sixth position against the Bison’s Kyle Rosen. His match was stopped before it could end, but the outlook was not good, given that he had dropped the first 6-4 and was trailing 5-4 in the second one.
In the No. 5 spot, Feuille represented the Raiders against Bucknell’s Mark Malloy. He suffered a straight-sets defeat, losing the first set 6-4 and then getting bageled in the second one, 6-0.
Playing at the No. 4 position, Bernasek ended his career with a straight-sets loss to the Bison’s Josh Katten. Bernasek fell by a score of 6-0 in the first set and 6-4 in the second one, making things interesting.
In the No. 3 spot, Goldstein emulated his teammates by falling in straight sets. He lost both by identical scores of 6-2.
Colgate’s lone point of the contest came at the No. 2 position, where first-year Bobby Berkowitz defeated Bucknell’s Anton Kovic in two sets by matching 6-3 scores.
Playing in the No. 1 stop, Gensburg’s match was stopped when it was secured that there was no way the Raiders could win the match. Gensburg led by a set, winning the first one 6-4 and was deadlocked in a second set battle, with he and the Bison’s Gregg Cohenca remaining on serve at 3-3.
The future looks promising for the Colgate men’s tennis team. The Raiders lose only two seniors from this year’s team. It also helps that three of Colgate’s top four guys this campaign were underclassmen, as one was a sophomore and two were first-years, while the other one was a senior. The two rookies held the top two spots for the better part of the season.
All of this implies that as long as the underclassmen keep getting better every year, its youth should bring success to the Colgate men’s tennis team.