WEYMOUTH, Mass.—#1 UMass Boston men's tennis jumped out to a 2-1 lead after doubles and won each of their top three singles matches, to earn their program record third-straight trip to the Little East Conference Championship Match.
#1 UMass Boston 5, #4 Rhode Island College 2
(UMass Boston 9-5)
(Rhode Island College 13-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Despite a strong challenge from the visiting Anchormen, #1 UMass Boston put together a strong showing across the board to advance to Saturday's LEC Title Match.
The defending LEC Tournament Champions will host the winner of #2 Salem State University and #3 UMass Dartmouth on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Weymouth Club.
Freshman Miguel Beltran (Ashland, Mass.) was the lone Beacon to go 2-0 in the victory. He earned wins at number one doubles and number two singles in his first collegiate postseason match.
At number one doubles, Beltran and sophomore captain Onkgopotse Mokoka (Pretoria, South Africa) held off a late charge from Rhode Island College's top pair to secure an 8-5 win.
The Anchormen kept themselves in the match thanks to a huge comeback at second doubles. Cam Chadwick and Chandler Scott rallied from a 7-3 deficit to earn a stunning 9-7 win over Austin DeLasse (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Josh Bhasin (Tulsa, Okla.).
After a nervy start to singles play saw the Anchormen hold the lead in four of the six matches early on, UMass Boston took the first set in four of the six singles matches.
Beltran was the first Beacon to finish his match, as he easily defeated Rhode Island College's Brett Taggart 6-1, 6-2 at number two singles.
Bhasin gave the Beacons' a 4-1 advantage, when he knocked off Alex Bourque 6-2, 6-1 at third singles.
Rhode Island College cut into the deficit with a win at fourth singles. Matthew Gambardella defeated Sanshrut Sharma (Mumbai, India) 6-4, 6-2 to keep RIC's season alive.
DeLasse closed out the match at number one singles. The Beacons' senior co-captain came back to earn a hard-fought 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 victory over Chadwick.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston will be making their third-straight trip to the LEC Championship match and sixth overall. In their previous five appearances, UMass Boston won the title in 1990, 2013 and 2017 and lost in 2014 and 2016.
- With the win, UMass Boston improved to 16-15 all-time against the Anchormen and 2-0 in LEC Tournament play.
- In the two matches that were not completed, Mokoka and junior Tin Tran (Quincy, Mass.) were both tied at one set apiece and were playing early in the third set.
- The Beacons defeated both #2 Salem State University (8-1) and #3 UMass Dartmouth (5-4) during the LEC Regular Season.
#1 UMass Boston will host the LEC Championship Match on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Weymouth Club.