NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass.—Coming off a season of firsts and program-records, UMass Boston men's tennis achieved yet another program-record Friday, as the Beacons were picked to finish second in the Little East Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll.
The 2013 defending Little East Conference Regular Season and Tournament Champions earned a program-record two first-place votes in the poll and their second-place projection (39 points), was one spot ahead of last year's previous program-best third place selection.
UMass Boston finished just one point behind preseason favorite University of Southern Maine. The Huskies earned 40 total points and four of the seven first-place votes. UMass Dartmouth was picked to finish third in the poll, two points behind Southern Maine and one behind the Beacons, with the Corsairs claiming 38 points and one first-place vote.
Bridgewater State finished fourth with 24 points, while Rhode Island College (21), Salem State University (17) and Western Connecticut State University (14) rounded out the poll.
The Beacons open Little East Conference play Saturday when they travel to take on Western Connecticut State University at 1 p.m. UMass Boston took on Southern Maine last Saturday, but the match was suspended due to rain with the Huskies holding a 2-1 lead. The two teams will complete their match Thursday April 10 at the Boston Sportsman's Club.
UMass Boston returns three of their six All-Conference players from last year's championship squad in seniors Sean Cullen (Medway, Mass.), Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.) and Eglis Bizhoti (Boston, Mass.). Reigning Little East Conference Coach of the Year Eric Berg has added two newcomers and is looking for seniors Lyle Analetto (Belmont, Mass.) and Brian Sou (Revere, Mass.) to take on larger roles.
Thus far this season, the Beacons are off to a 2-5 start, with back-to-back wins in their last two matches.