BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After losing the doubles point, the Lehigh men’s tennis team rallied to win five straight singles matches to rally for a 5-2 win over Bucknell Tuesday on the Ulrich Varsity Courts. Freshman Ben Gilman rallied for a three-set win at No. 2 singles to clinch the match for the Mountain Hawks, who improved to 11-7 overall and 3-1 in league matches this season.
Bucknell (7-13, 2-3 Patriot League) took an early 1-0 lead with wins at the bottom two doubles flights. Lehigh’s top team of Gilman and junior Matt Savran won 8-4 over Gregg Cohenca and Aidan Lynch, but the Bison clinched the point with an 8-6 win at third doubles.
Lehigh battled back in singles play, taking a 3-1 lead after three straight-set singles wins. Freshman Mitchell Petersen started the run with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Octavio Conibe at No. 3 singles and Savran followed with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Josh Katten at No. 4 singles. At No. 5 singles, junior Andrew Krentz put the Mountain Hawks on the brink of clinching the match by defeating Kyle Rosen 6-2, 6-4.
The Mountain Hawks had a chance to clinch the match at No. 6 singles, but freshman D.J. Goldblum couldn’t hold onto a 4-1 second-set lead and the match went to the third set.
The matches at the top two singles flights also required three sets. Gilman dropped his first set to Evan Zimmer 6-4 but rallied to take the next two 6-2 and 6-0 to clinch Lehigh’s first win over Bucknell since 2006.
“I give a lot of credit to coach (Wouter) Hendrix,” said Lehigh head coach Dave Shook. “We are a superbly conditioned team. Gilman showed a big heart in getting that clinching win.”
Goldberg needed a tiebreak to defeat Cohenca at No. 1 singles, while Bucknell picked up its only singles win in a super tiebreak at No. 6 singles.
The win ended an eight match losing streak for Lehigh against Bucknell.
The Mountain Hawks will wrap-up the regular season next Monday when they travel to rival Lafayette for a 3 p.m. match. Lehigh can wrap-up the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League tournament with a win over the Leopards.
Lehigh 5, Bucknell 2
1. Gilman/Savran (LU) def. Cohenca/Lynch (BU) 8-4
2. Zimmer/Katten (BU) def. Petersen/Goldberg (LU) 8-2
3. Bernstein/Morque (BU) def. Krentz/Chernykh (LU) 8-6
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Mark Goldberg (LU) def. Gregg Cohenca (BU) 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (4)
2. Ben Gilman (LU) def. Evan Zimmer (BU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
3. Mitchell Petersen (LU) def. Octavio Conibe (BU) 6-1, 6-2
4. Matt Savran (LU) def. Josh Katten (BU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Andrew Krentz (LU) def. Kyle Rosen (BU) 6-2, 6-4
6. Gregory Maxson (BU) def. DJ Goldblum (LU) 4-6, 7-6, 10-3
Order of Finish: 3, 4, 5, 2, 1, 6