Lehigh defeats Bucknell for first PL win
Posted: April 8, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – To make the Patriot League tournament, the Mountain Hawks knew Thursday was a must win situation. With Bucknell coming to town and Lehigh still winless in Patriot League play, the Mountain Hawks dug deep and came out with a crucial 5-2 win to keep their hopes alive, with Colgate coming to town on Friday.
Lehigh took the doubles point to start the match, as the Mountain Hawks swept all three sets. The closest set was in the top flight, as freshmen Ryan Lloyd and Brad Nelson toughed out a 9-7 win over Nick Denefrio and Matt Pikus. Ty Esler and Alfredo Fernandez-Concha won the second set 8-5, and Jon Swanson and Randall Smalley won the third 8-3.
In singles, Esler got his first Patriot League win of the season with a three set defeat of Denefrio, winning 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3. Smalley then put Lehigh up 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-4 win in the second flight.
Bucknell would get its first point in the third flight, as Asher Salam won in three sets over Swanson 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Lehigh would bounce back, as Lloyd and Fernandez-Concha both won to clinch the match for the team’s first Patriot League win.
The Bison would win the sixth flight, but it was already too late by then.
With the victory, Lehigh stays alive in the postseason chase, and will take on league leader Colgate on Friday at the Lewis Tennis Center at . A win would go a long way towards advancing Lehigh into the postseason.
Lehigh vs. Bucknell – Singles WINNER
1. Esler, Lehigh
Esler, 6-3 6-7 6-3
2. Smalley, Lehigh
Smalley, 6-2 6-4
3. Swanson, Lehigh
Salam, 2-6 6-2 6-2
4. Lloyd, Lehigh
Lloyd, 6-4 4-6 7-5
5. Fernandez Concha, Lehigh
F-C, 6-4 6-3
6. Nelson, Lehigh
Saperstein, 6-3 3-6 (10-8)
Lehigh vs. Bucknell – Doubles WINNER
1. Lloyd/Nelson, Lehigh
2. Esler/Fernando Concha, LU
3. Swanson/Smalley, LU