Nick Bybel became accustomed to success on the tennis courts at Hilton Head Christian Academy, where the former Eagles standout captured a SCISAA player of the year award and helped the team to a runner-up finish in 2012.
His success didn't end in the Lowcountry, however. Bybel was named the Patriot League's Rookie of the Year last month, the first honor to ever go to a Bucknell men's tennis player.
Bybel finished his freshman campaign with a 22-9 singles record and an 18-10 mark in doubles action. Those totals helped him earn a spot on the All-Patriot League first team, making him just the second Bucknell freshman to earn all-league honors and the only one to be selected to the first team.
The former Hilton Head Christian star went 15-6 in singles dual matches for the Bison, which featured a 3-2 mark against Patriot League opponents and a win over Navy's No. 1 singles player for the first time in 40 years. He also went 4-0 in doubles matches against conference foes and ended the year with nine victories in his final 11 attempts.
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His work on the court helped Bucknell finish the season with a 15-8 record and a 3-2 mark in Patriot League action, good for the school's second-best finish in team history.
Patriot League Men's Tennis Awards
Player of the Year: Asika Isoh, Army
Rookie of the Year: Nick Bybel, Bucknell
Coach of the Year: Wouter Hendrix, Lehigh
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Andrew Krentz, Lehigh
First-team All-Patriot League
Asika Isoh, Army
Luke Gensburg, Colgate
Ben Gilman, Lehigh
Nick Bybel, Bucknell
Calvin Mark, Navy
Peter McDonald, Navy