AMHERST, Mass.—UMass Boston men's tennis put up a strong fight at all three doubles matches, before eventually seeing their season come to an end at the hands of #32 Stevens Institute of Technology on Friday in the NCAA Tournament First Round.
Stevens 5, UMass Boston 0
(UMass Boston 13-6)
(Stevens Institute 15-9)
HOW IT HAPPENED
UMass Boston held leads at all three doubles spots at various points in the match, but couldn't hold on in their effort to pull off the upset.
With the loss, UMass Boston sees one of their most successful seasons in program history come to a close. #32 Stevens moves on to the Second Round, to take on #15 University of Mary Washington on Saturday.
The Brothers Platteel, Roy Platteel (Holbrook, Mass.) and Ray Platteel (Holbrook, Mass.), held an early 3-2 edge at second doubles. Stevens pairing of Keegan Morris and Gabriel Sifuentes earned a break to take a 4-3 lead and never looked back en-route to an 8-4 win.
First doubles was a wild back-and-forth match, with both teams holding the advantage for long periods. Nandish Shah (Ahmedabad, India) and Miguel Beltran (Ashland, Mass.) raced out to a 6-1 lead, but they couldn't hold on. Stevens pairing of Mark Kavensky and Marc Feliu Gomez, who are heading to the NCAA Tournament as a doubles pair after the NCAA Team tournament, rallied to win seven games in a row to earn a tight 8-6 win.
In the final match to finish, UMass Boston's Alexander Comerchero (Brookline, Mass.) and Onkgopotse Mokoka (Pretoria, South Africa) went toe-to-toe with Stevens' third doubles pair. The Beacons led for most of the match but couldn't pull away, as Stevens forced a tiebreak. In the tiebreak, the two teams were even through the first six points, before Stevens claimed an 8-7 (7-4) win.
The two teams only started four of the six singles matches, as inclement weather forced the match to be played indoors.
Stevens took three of the four first sets, with Beltran earning a 6-3 first-set win at number two singles.
The Ducks pushed their advantage to 4-0 overall at third singles, as Kavensky defeated Roy Platteel 6-2, 6-1.
Stevens finished the match minutes later, with Sifuentes claiming a 6-0, 6-2 decision over Comerchero.
In the two singles matches that didn't finish, Beltran was leading 6-3, 2-5 at second singles and Shah was making a comeback bid at first singles (2-6, 3-4).
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston finishes the season second in program history for a single-season with 13 overall wins. The Beacons went 7-0 in Little East Conference play and set a new program record, by winning 90.4 percent of their conference matches.
- The Beacons first and second doubles pairings each suffered just their second doubles losses of the season.
- Comerchero and Mokoka each were making their program-record second NCAA Tournament appearances.
- Friday's match marked the first-ever meeting between the two programs. Stevens has played an LEC opponent in four of the past six years and defeated all four by 5-0 scores.
Friday's match marked the final match in the careers of Tin Tran (Saigon, Vietnam) and Moon Adra (Dorchester, Mass.). The Beacons anticipate bringing back the other 11 players on the roster, including all six players in their lineup.