April 6, 2013

Men's Tennis Upsets Defending Champion UMass Dartmouth 7-2

BOSTON, Mass.—After 90 minutes of bitter doubles action, defending Little East Conference Champion UMass Dartmouth led UMass Boston 2-1 and looked set to extend their conference winning streak to 13 games in a row, but the Beacons responded with a a dominating performance in singles action to earn a 7-2 victory Saturday afternoon at the B.C. High School Tennis Courts. 

With the victory, UMass Boston moved to 5-3 on the season and 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 1991-the second year of Little East Conference Men's Tennis play. Their in-state rivals fell to 2-2 and 1-1 in LEC play, as the Corsairs dropped their first conference match since a 6-3 loss April 30, 2010 to Rhode Island College. 

The historic victory not only put the Beacons in the driver's seat in Little East play, but snapped a 5-game losing streak at the hands of UMass Dartmouth.

UMass Boston pulled off the victory behind captains Alex Loyer (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.), who finished a perfect 3-0 on the day. The Beacons' number two doubles pair pulled off the lone UMB point in doubles play, with an 8-5 win to even the score at 1-1.

UMass Dartmouth grabbed the lead back at 2-1, when number one singles player Karsten Rathlev and Patrick Lewis combined for a 9-8 (7-5) win over Sean Cullen (Medway, Mass.) and David Hernandez (Bogota, Colombia.). 

With their backs against the wall, the Beacons responded in a huge way, taking all six singles matches-including three three-setters. 

Loyer evened the score at two all, with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Dan Chouinard to pick up his team-leading sixth singles win on the year and fourth-straight singles victory.

Lai put UMass Boston ahead for good with a tight 6-4, 6-3 win at fourth flight singles over Ray Lawton. The Beacons two captains have now win a combined nine in a row singles and doubles matches, helping UMB earn their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Hernandez pushed the lead to 4-2 for UMass Boston with the first of three straight three-set Beacons victories. After dropping the first set, Hernandez raced back to win the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

UMass Boston clinched the victory at top-flight singles, when Cullen moved to 5-0 in dual match singles action, with a 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-1 win over Matt Bejtlich.

Seth Shavers (Boston, Mass.) snapped a four-game singles losing streak with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 victory over Jon Reagan and Eglis Bizhoti (Dorchester, Mass.) capped off the dominating win with a commanding 6-1, 6-0 victory over Jake Jaskolka.

The Beacons will return to non-conference action to start the week with a match against Ana Maria College Friday afternoon at Noon. UMass Dartmouth will play their spring home opener Tuesday afternoon, when they host Springfield College at 3:30 p.m.