BRUNSWICK, Maine—Junior Austin DeLasse (Mexico, City, Mexico) and freshman Alexander Comerchero (Brookline, Mass.) combined for an 8-4 win at first doubles, but it wasn't enough in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Nichols College 5, UMass Boston 1
(UMass Boston 10-8)
(Nichols College 19-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The top of UMass Boston's lineup went toe-to-toe with a more experienced Nichols side on Thursday afternoon.
Today's contest marked the second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in UMass Boston program history and the first-time anyone on the Beacons' roster had played in an NCAA match. On the other side, Nichols was appearing in their sixth-straight NCAA Tournament.
DeLasse, Comerchero and sophomore Josh Bhasin (Tulsa, Okla.) were all especially impressive.
The Beacons' number one doubles pair went game for game early on with the Nichols top doubles grouping, before rolling to an 8-4 win.
That cut the deficit to 2-1, after Nichols picked up wins at second and third doubles.
Nichols earned the win thanks to big wins at the three bottom singles flights.
Jack Donaldson defeated Sanshrut Sharma (Mumbai, India) 6-0, 6-1 at fifth singles to move the Bison lead to 3-1.
The Bison tacked on a 6-0, 6-0 win at sixth singles, with Jake Zapatka knocking off Platteel.
In the final match to finish, Barbosa defeated Tran 6-1, 6-2 at fourth singles.
UMass Boston was extremely competitive in the three matches that weren't played to decision.
At first singles, DeLasse led Blake Norton 5-4, before eventually dropping the first set 7-5. Norton was leading 2-1 in the second set when the match was called.
Bhasin was the lone Beacon to take a set. The sophomore led 7-5, 2-0 over Brandon Howard at second singles.
Finally, Comerchero rallied from an early deficit to drop the first set 7-5 at third singles. Smith was leading 7-5, 2-1 overall at the end of the match.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston concludes one of their most successful seasons in program history at 10-8. The Beacons will return all eight players who appeared in today's match and nine of the 10 players on the roster.
- With the win, Nichols College improved to 2-0 all-time against UMass Boston. In the only prior meeting, the Bison defeated UMass Boston 9-0 in 2013.
- Nichols earned their third-straight NCAA Tournament First Round victory. The Bison will take on defending national champion and host Bowdoin College on Friday at 8 a.m.
- DeLasse and Comerchero combined to win five of their final six matches at first doubles. The pair end the season with a team-high nine doubles wins.
- UMass Boston falls to 0-2 in NCAA Tournament play. In 2013, UMass Boston fell 5-2 to Skidmore College.
- Bhasin played his best tennis of the year in the final two matches. He earned the match-clinching win in the LEC Finals and was leading at second singles this afternoon.
UMass Boston will return their entire lineup for the 2017-18 season.