BOSTON, Mass. – In perhaps one of their most intense matches to date men's tennis (8-3, 3-1 Little East) using a total team effort prevailed in the end as they defeated the Vikings of Salem State University (5-8, 1-3 Little East) by the final of 5-4 Tuesday afternoon at the Boston College High School Tennis Courts.
Tuesday's victory marked the first for UMass Boston over Salem State since they defeated them by the same tally back in 2006.
The match got off to a rocky start for the Beacons as the Vikings jumped out to a 2-1 lead following the three doubles matches. The duo of David Hernandez (Bogota, Colombia) and Little East Conference Rookie of the Week, Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.) earned the lone win for UMass with an 8-5 decision at first flight.
In singles play, the Beacons quickly tied the score at 2-2 after Lai's opponent retired due to injury with the score standing at 4-1 in the first set. Salem State jumped back to a one point lead following a Josh Giller win at fourth flight.
Truly the momentum of Tuesday's match shifted when Alex Loyer (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Hernandez recorded back-to-back wins to give UMass their first lead of the match (4-3). Loyer, at second flight, defeated his Salem State opponent 7-5, 6-0. Hernandez followed suit with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 victory at first flight.
However Salem's Jong Joe Kim evened the score at 4-4 with his 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 decision at sixth flight. With the score now even everyone's attention turned to the final match of the day, which was an absolute battle between Lyle Analetto (Belmont, Mass.) and Kristian Biedul.
Biedul would gain the early advantage following his 7-5 decision in the first set. Down but not out, Analetto battled back to earn two straight 6-4 wins to give the Beacons their fourth straight win, and third consecutive Little East Conference victory.
To date the Beacons currently sit in second place in the conference standings with their 3-1 conference mark. Their combined eight wins is currently the most since the 2001 season when they finished with an 8-5 overall record.
Men's Tennis returns to action on Thursday when they host Eastern Nazarene College at 3 p.m.