BOSTON, Mass. – The UMass Boston men's tennis is looking to keep what has been one of the best seasons in its history going tomorrow afternoon when they face the Huskies of the University Southern Maine in the quarterfinal round of the Little East Conference tournament.
The Beacons, who enter this year's tournament as the fifth seed, will face the fourth seeded Huskies tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Gorham, Maine.
UMass closed out their 2012 regular season with an 8-6 record overall, 3-3 in the Little East Conference. Their eight wins tied the program record for most team wins in a season since the 2001 campaign. If the Beacons earn the victory it will mark only the third nine win season in school history and first since 1991. The Huskies of Southern Maine will host the first round of the LEC tournament carrying a 10-5 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the conference.
Both Southern Maine and UMass Boston, along with Western Connecticut State University closed out the 2012 season tied for third with their 3-3 record. With all three squads finishing the year with a 1-1 record against each other, the conference had to implement a tie-breaker to determine the seeding for this year's tournament. The conference broke the tie by totaling the match wins against all conference opponents. When the numbers were tallied Western Connecticut finished with 30, followed by Southern Maine with 29, and UMass Boston with 28.
Going into tomorrow's match head coach Eric Berg will look to a very balanced line-up that has played extremely competitive all season long. At the forefront of the line-up card will be David Hernandez (Bogota, Colombia) and Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.), who have dominated doubles play at first flight. The duo have also been a one-two punch in singles play, with Hernandez posting a 4-2 mark against conference opponent at first flight, while Lai recorded a perfect 6-0 record at third flight.
UMass will also need a big afternoon from their No. 2 doubles pair in Seth Shavers (Boston, Mass.) and Alex Loyer (Chelmsford, Mass.). Despite posting a 2-4 mark against conference opponents the duo was very successful as a whole throughout the spring as they finished regular season with a combined five wins. Loyer garnered conference Player of the Week honors for his standout play in the Beacons back-to-back wins over Southern Maine and Salem State back on April 15 and 17.
In singles play, Shavers carry's a 5-6 record overall at fourth flight, while Loyer posted a combined 10 wins to match Hernandez for most singles victory this season. At third doubles it will be Lyle Analetto (Belmont, Mass.) and Himanshu Dubey (Lucknow, India) filling out the rest of the Beacons card. This season the two combined for three wins when paired up, while in singles play they tallied a combined nine wins respectively.
In the first meeting between the two squads, UMass earned a solid win 6-3 win over the Huskies. UMass took advantage of an early 2-1 lead and carried that momentum through singles play to down the Huskies and earn their second conference win of the year. In that match two decisions were decided by tie-breakers with Hernandez earning a 7-6 (7-2), 7-5 decision over Adam Whitman. Loyer, Lai, and Shavers were also winners in that contest which gave the Beacons the conference victory.
The winner of tomorrow's match will then travel to UMass Dartmouth to face the first seeded Corsairs. The winner of that contest will advance to championship match on Saturday at a site to be determined. In the other quarterfinal match it will be the sixth seeded Vikings of Salem State taking on the third seeded Colonials of Western Connecticut State. The winner of that match-up will travel to Bridgewater State University to take on the second seeded Bears.
For all the latest news and highlights about this year's men's tennis tournament go to the home of the Little East Conference, http://www.littleeast.com.