NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass.—After a second-place finish in the regular season and a trip to the Little East Conference Title Match, UMass Boston men's tennis placed five players on the Little East Conference Teams, the league office announced Friday morning.
Senior Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.) earned a pair of First Team honors in both singles and doubles, while fellow seniors Sean Cullen (Medway, Mass.), Eglis Bizhoti (Kucovë, Albania) and Mark Grinhaus (Scarsdale, N.Y.) each earned First Team honors in doubles play.
The Beacons garnered three more honors, as Cullen, Grinhaus and freshman Jack Wang (Suzhou, China) each were named to the Second Team for singles play.
UMass Boston's five honorees are the second most in program-history, behind only their 2013 Championship season. A year ago, all six members of the Beacons' lineup were named to the All Conference Team, with the Beacons placing four players on the singles team and earning four of the six spots on the doubles First Team.
Lai, a third-year member of the program, has now been named a First Team honoree in singles three times and earned his second consecutive First Team recognition for doubles play. The senior co-captain has earned First Team honors at third singles (2012), fourth singles (2013) and at number two singles (2014) and is the first player in program history to be named to multiple All-Conference First Teams in both singles and doubles play.
The Boston, Mass. native led UMass Boston with 12 singles victories, 16 doubles victories and 28 total wins. His 28 overall victories are tied for sixth-most in program history for a single season, while his 16 doubles victories are tied for eight-most in a single year. With his final doubles victory of the year, Lai set the UMass Boston career mark in doubles victories (41). The two-year captain also ranks third in school history with his 76 career wins, just 10 shy of UMass Boston tennis legends Quazi Sadruzzaman ('04) and Tom Savoie ('91) for the school record. Rounding out the career marks, Lai sit fourth in school history with his 35 singles victories and is third all-time with his 51 career doubles matches played (41-10).
Cullen wraps up his career with a second consecutive First Team honor at Number One doubles and Second Team recognition for his play at number one singles. Cullen teamed up with Lai to go 13-2 overall at number one doubles and finishes his career 11-1 against LEC foes in doubles play, after finishing the year with a perfect 6-0 mark this season.
The Beacons number one doubles pair earned their lone point of the LEC Title Match, as Cullen and Lai earned an 8-6 come-from-behind win at number one doubles. He added eight singles wins, including posting an impressive 5-1 mark in the LEC. In just two years at UMass Boston, Cullen earned 38 victories as a Beacon and finished in ninth-place in program history with his 23 career singles wins.
Bizhoti, one of six seniors on the Beacons' rosters, finishes up a tremendous four-year run through the Little East Conference with an LEC record fourth consecutive All Conference doubles selection. After earning All Conference doubles honors in each of his first two years at Salem State University, Bizhoti carried that success over to his play at UMass Boston, where he earned Second Team honors (third doubles) as a junior and First Team honors (second doubles) as a senior. Overall, Bizhoti earned two First Team and two Second Team All Conference honors in doubles and finished his career with a 17-6 doubles mark against LEC foes.
He finished the 2014 season with a career-high 20 victories (12 doubles and eight singles) and 56 career wins. After earning 18 combined wins over two years at Salem State, Bizhoti shored up the Beacons' lineup by averaging 19 wins per season over his two years at UMass Boston. In his final season of play, he finished with an impressive 9-3 mark against LEC foes, and added two key wins in the Beacons' LEC Semifinal victory over Western Connecticut State University.
Grinhaus made the most of his only season on the tennis courts, as the four-year member of the Beacons' hockey team picked up First Team honors at second doubles and Second Team honors at number four singles. He finished the season with an impressive 17-11 mark in his first year and garnered a pair of Little East Conference Rookie of the Week awards.
In his six Little East Conference matches, Grinhaus registered identical 5-1 marks in singles and doubles play, while helping the Beacons post a nine-win season, their second-most since 1990. He finished off the regular-season with a ridiculous stretch, as Grinhaus won 13 of his final 16 matches, to help UMass Boston finish the season in second-place in the Little East Conference.
Wang was the final Beacon to earn All-Conference recognition after the Beacons' freshman posted a 3-1 mark at number five singles. The Suzhou, China native was one of just two freshmen on the roster and posted 10 wins on the year. After getting off to an 0-6 start in singles, Wang finished the year with five wins in his final nine singles matches, including a 3-0 mark to end the regular-season.