LEWISBURG, PA – After a long spring season the Bucknell women’s tennis team is finally headed into the Patriot League Tournament Friday in Bethlehem, Pa., as the No. 5 seed. Bucknell will face the hosts of the tournament in No. 4 Lehigh at 10 a.m. The Bison head into the tournament with a 4-16 overall and 2-3 conference record. All matches will be played at Lehigh’s Ulrich Varsity Courts.

ABOUT THE BISON

– Bucknell heads into the tournament as the No. 5 seed after losing the tiebreaker to Colgate and Lehigh. All three finished at 2-3 in conference play, with each going 1-1 against the other teams in the tie. All three shared the same record against common league opponents and there were no common non-conference opponents among the trio. ITA rankings were consulted, with Colgate, Lehigh and Bucknell situated at Nos. 223, 237 and 255, respectively.

– The Bison go into the tournament having won three of their last five matches, with two of the victories coming over conference foes Lehigh and Lafayette.

– Bucknell faced Lehigh last Friday with the Bison grabbing the key league win, 5-2. In that match the Bison swept doubles play and Lydia Colvin, Courtney Casey and Daria Tuzhikova all picked up their second win after singles action.

– Senior Dumitrita Iepuras will play in her last Patriot League Tournament as Bucknell’s eighth-best tennis player with a record of 114-93. She also ranks seventh in all-time singles victories at 72-46 and 13th in doubles with a record of 42-47.

– Captain Courtney Casey rolls into the matchup versus Lehigh winning six of her last eight combined matches in Bucknell’s last four contests.

– The Bison have a 22-23 all-time record against the Mountain Hawks. The last time the two teams met in the tournament was 2009 when Bucknell won 4-0.

– This is the first time since 2000 that Bucknell has been seeded fifth or lower. The matchup in 2000 quarterfinals was against No. 4 Lehigh, which the Bison won 5-4.

ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT

– Army claimed the 2010-11 title with a victory over Navy, 4-0. The Black Knights have won seven straight Patriot League Championships.

–  Bucknell’s only tournament title came in 1994, which was the only season they have entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed.

– Lehigh, Navy and Holy Cross have never won the Patriot League Championship since the tournament took its current format in 1994.

– About No. 1 Navy: The Midshipmen went 19-2 and 4-0 in the regular season and conference play during the spring. The Mids swept Patriot League play defeating Lehigh 6-1, Lafayette 7-0, Colgate 7-0, and Bucknell 5-2. Navy’s only losses of the year came against George Washington and Old Dominion. Darien Sears is 12-6 in singles action with all 12 wins coming at the No. 1 position for Navy. Bucknell’s team doubles point was the only time Navy has lost doubles in the league all spring.

– About No. 2 Army: The Black Knights enter the tournament at 18-6 overall and 5-0 in league play. They have won their last seven matches, which includes 7-0 decisions over each of their league opponents – Bucknell, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh and Colgate. It is the second year in a row that Army has entered the tournament on a seven-match winning streak. The Black Knights went undefeated in regular-season conference play for the 10th straight year.

– About No. 3 Colgate: The Raiders ended their season with a 6-12 overall and a 2-3 conference record. Colgate earned the No. 3 seed by winning the ITA rankings tiebreaker over Lehigh and Bucknell. The Raiders’ three Patriot League losses came at the hands of Lehigh, Army and Navy. When Bucknell took on Colgate earlier in the season the Raiders narrowly won in a 4-3 match. The Raiders edged out the Bison by winning two of the three doubles matches to earn the crucial team point. Bucknell freshman Christie Schneider earned her first win of the spring in singles play in the loss.

– About No. 4 Lehigh: The Mountain Hawks will enter as hosts of the tournament with a 5-13 overall and 2-3 league record. They will be the No. 4 seed for the second year in a row with last year’s tournament coming to an end in the quarterfinals after losing to Colgate, 4-3. They will face the Bison who beat them earlier in the year, 5-2.

– About No. 6 Lafayette: The Leopards head into the tournament after ending their season at 5-10 overall and 1-5 in conference play. Lafayette lost its five league matches 7-0 to Lehigh, Bucknell, Army, Colgate and Navy. The Leopards won the head-to-head victory over Holy Cross which bumped them into the No. 6 seed.

– About No. 7 Holy Cross: The Crusaders are 4-3 overall and 0-2 as they wrap up the spring season and head into the tournament. It is the second straight year the Crusaders enter the tournament as the No. 7 seed.

2012 PATRIOT LEAGUE WOMEN’S TENNIS TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Friday, April 20 – Quarterfinals
– No. 4 Lehigh vs. No. 5 Bucknell, 10 a.m.
– No. 3 Colgate vs. No. 6 Lafayette, 1 p.m.
– No. 2 Army vs. No. 7 Holy Cross, 3 p.m.

Saturday, April 21 – Semifinals
– No. 1 Navy vs. Lehigh-Bucknell winner, 10 a.m.
– Colgate-Lafayette winner vs. Army-Holy Cross winner, 2 p.m.

Sunday, April 22 – Championship, 1 p.m.