PAWTUCKET, R.I.—UMass Boston men's tennis freshman Alexander Comerchero (Brookline, Mass.) and head coach Eric Berg were named Little East Conference Rookie and Coach of the Year, to lead a group of six who were honored by the league office on Tuesday afternoon.
Junior captain Austin DeLasse (Mexico City, Mexico) and Comerchero earned a spot on the LEC All-Conference First Team for doubles, and DeLasse also was named to the First Team for singles. Comerchero was joined on the LEC Second Singles Team by junior Sanshrut Sharma (Mumbai, India). Finally, sophomores Josh Bhasin (Tulsa, Okla.) and Tin Tran (Quincy, Mass.) carved out a spot on the LEC Second Team for doubles.
Comerchero is the third-straight Beacon to earn LEC Rookie of the Year honors, joining DeLasse (2015) and Bhasin (2016). Berg earns his second LEC Coach of the Year honors, after previously winning the award in 2013.
This year's team went a perfect 6-0 in Little East play and defeated #2 UMass Dartmouth 5-3 in the LEC Title Match, to earn their second NCAA Tournament appearance.
Comerchero enjoyed a phenomenal freshman campaign at first doubles and third singles. He paced the Beacons with his 16 total wins and combined with DeLasse for a team-high eight singles victories. Comerchero also ranked second on the team with his eight singles wins. He was even better in Little East Conference play. After going 10-1 during the LEC regular season, Comerchero finished 2-1 in the LEC Tournament, including earning an 8-2 win at first doubles in the LEC Title Match.
During the course of the regular season, Comerchero was named the LEC Rookie of the Week on four occasions, including three-straight weeks in April. Since returning to New England, Comerchero went 8-1 in singles play, including five-straight wins at second and third singles from April 2-April 15.
Berg earns his second career LEC Coach of the Year award (2013) after leading the Beacons to their second NCAA Tournament appearance. Despite losing six players from last year's team that made it to the LEC Championship Game, the 11th-year head coach guided the Beacons to their second-ever, undefeated conference regular season. The Beacons went on to defeat #4 Bridgewater State University 5-2 and #2 UMass Dartmouth 5-3, to earn a spot in this year's NCAA Tournament.
With their win over the Corsairs, men's tennis reached double-digit wins for the third time in program history. The Beacons 10 wins ranks third in program history, behind only the 2013 team (14) and the 1990 team (11). Men's Tennis has been incredibly consistent over the past five seasons under Berg. UMass Boston has won the LEC Tournament twice and reached the championship match on four occasions. Overall, UMass Boston has posted their best five-year stretch in program history (47-43).
DeLasse earns his fourth and fifth All-Conference awards and his first two career LEC First Team honors. After being named to the Second Team in both singles and doubles a year ago, the junior captain took a big jump forward this spring, while playing at first singles and doubles. He tied with Comerchero for the team-lead in doubles wins (eight), and finished second overall with his 15 total victories. In Little East play, DeLasse went 3-3 at number one singles and 5-1 at number one doubles.
The Beacons captain earned LEC Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors after going 2-0 in the LEC Championship Match. He teamed up with Comerchero for an 8-2 win at number one singles and then downed Corey Rafter 6-4, 6-1 at first singles. DeLasse is playing his best tennis at the end of the year. He has won three-straight singles matches and earned wins in four of his past five doubles contests.
Sharma continued to prove why he owns the moniker of the Beacons' singles specialist. After just missing out on an All-Conference award last year, Sharma earned his first career honors. He paced the Beacons with his 11-6 record in singles, with appearances at third, fourth and fifth singles. In his primary spot at fifth singles, Sharma went an impressive 8-2, including a 6-0 mark during the LEC Regular Season. In the Little East Conference Tournament, Sharma went 2-0, including a match-clinching, three-set win over Alexander Belinsky in the LEC Semifinals. Sharma enters NCAA Tournament play riding a five-match winning streak.
Despite only playing together for a small portion of the season, Bhasin and Tran made the most of their time together. The pair went 2-1 at second doubles in LEC play, to earn a Second Team All-Conference honor. For Bhasin, it marks his third career All-Conference award, while Tran picks up his first collegiate recognition. The pair defeated Southern Maine's second doubles duo 8-4 and Salem State's second doubles team 8-2 to earn a spot on the All-Conference team. Overall, the pair combined for six total LEC doubles wins.