WEYMOUTH, Mass—Behind stellar doubles play, #1 UMass Boston men's tennis cruised to their fourth Little East Conference Tournament Title in program history, with a 5-0 sweep over #2 Salem State University in Saturday's LEC Championship Match.
UMass Boston 5, Salem State 0
(UMass Boston 13-5)
(Salem State 9-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The top-seeded Beacons avenged a 5-1 loss to Salem State in last season's finals, by coming out aggressively and never letting the Vikings get their footing.
Beltran was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament, after going 2-0 on Saturday and 3-0 for the tournament.
The Beacons took control of the match thanks to their strong doubles play.
Alexander Comerchero (Brookline, Mass.) and Mokoka fell behind 5-3 early, before roaring back by winning the next five games to claim an 8-5 win at third doubles.
The Beacons second doubles pairing of Roy Platteel (Holbrook, Mass.) and Ray Platteel (Holbrook, Mass.) made it 2-0 moments later. The Brothers Platteel were all over Mitchell Dyer and Roni Bazile early, as they raced out to a 5-0 lead. After the Vikings won the next two games, UMass Boston's pairing settled in and closed out the win 8-3.
The final doubles match to finish proved to be the biggest margin of victory for the Beacons. Nandish Shah (Ahmedabad, India) and Beltran shook off a slow start that saw them fall behind 1-0 and 2-1, to cruise to an 8-2 win at number one doubles.
UMass Boston kept the momentum going into singles play, as they took the first set in five of the six matches.
Mokoka claimed the Beacons' fourth point, as he dominated Moses Ba 6-1, 6-0 at number six singles.
Beltran clinched the victory minutes later, as the sophomore knocked off Roni Bazile 6-2, 6-0 at number two singles.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With the victory, UMass Boston claimed their third LEC Tournament Title in the past seven seasons (2013, 2017, 2019) and fourth overall (2019). UMass Boston tied UMass Dartmouth for the most titles (three) in the current LEC Tournament format (2009-19).
- UMass Boston improved to 3-3 in LEC Championship Matches under the current format. The Beacons are 3-1 as the number one seed in the LEC Title Match, with their only loss coming last season to #2 Salem State.
- With the win, the 2018-19 team ranks second in program history with their 13 total wins. The 2013 team holds the all-time, single-season wins record with 14 victories (14-4).
- Ray Platteel tied the program record for doubles wins in a single-season with his 16th win of the year on Saturday. He is tied with head coach Charles Lai ('15) and Dana Gleason ('95) for the single-season mark for doubles victories.
- In nine matches this season against LEC competition, UMass Boston went 27-0 in doubles matches.
- UMass Boston improves to 1-1 all-time against Salem State in LEC Tournament matches and 17-22 all-time against the Vikings.
UMass Boston earns the LEC's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Tournament. The Beacons will learn their first-round matchup on Monday at Noon, when the NCAA releases the bracket on NCAA.com.