April 5, 2014

Men's Tennis Opens Little East Play With 6-3 Victory Over Western. Conn. St.

DANBURY, Conn.—UMass Boston men's tennis (3-5, 1-0 Little East) won six points in a row to cruise to their first-ever road victory over Western Connecticut State University (1-1, 0-1 Little East) Saturday afternoon at the Westside Complex.

Seniors Sean Cullen (Medway, Mass.), Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.), Eglis Bizhoti (Kucovë, Albania) and Mark Grinhaus (Scarsdale, N.Y.) each went 2-0 on the day to help the Beacons extend their winning-streak to three in a row. The victory also marked the Beacons' ninth-straight victory against Little East Conference competition. 

Western Connecticut got off to a good start in the match, as Jason Hipona and Daniel Winter defeated Lyle Analetto (Belmont, Mass.) and Jack Wang (Suzhou, China) 8-3 at third-flight doubles.

That would be the last time the Colonials would lead though, as UMass Boston strung together six-consecutive points to earn the victory.

It all started at second doubles, as Bizhoti and Grinhaus knocked off Chris Turner and William Donahue by an 8-3 margin. Lai and Cullen gave the Beacons the lead for good at first-flight doubles, as the senior pair dominated Brian Bucknam and Ryan Klem 8-2.

Lai tacked on his second win of the day to start singles play with an impressive 6-0, 6-0 win over Turner at second singles.

Grinhaus quickly followed with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Hipona to put the Beacons ahead 4-1.

UMass Boston clinched the match at third-flight singles, as Bizhoti knocked off Klem 6-3, 6-0. Bizhoti has secured the match-clinching singles victory in two of UMass Boston's three wins this season.

The Beacons tacked on their sixth and final point of the day at top-flight singles. Cullen outlasted Bucknam 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) to help the Beacons earn the third victory in program history against Western Connecticut State (3-9).

Winter snapped the Beacons' run with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Analetto at sixth-flight singles. The Colonials closed out the match with one more victory, as Donahue took an 11-9 super tiebreaker in the third, to down Wang 3-6, 6-4, (11-9).

UMass Boston will return to action Wednesday when they begin a three-game home stand. The Beacons will host Wentworth Institute of Technology Wednesday at 3 p.m. in a match to be played at Curry College.