BOSTON, Mass.—For the first time in over 20 years, the UMass Boston (11-3, 5-0 Little East) men's tennis team can claim to be Little East Conference champions, after their 9-0 victory over Western Connecticut State University (0-9, 0-5 Little East) Thursday afternoon gave the Beacons at least a share of the LEC regular season crown.
The Beacons playing at their home away from home on the "Big Nine" Tennis Courts in Milton, Massachusetts, dominated the Colonials en route to their program-record tying 11th win of the season. With the victory, UMass Boston wrapped up the top seed in next week's Little East Conference Tournament, because of a tiebreaker they hold over defending champion UMass Dartmouth.
The win also marked the Beacons' ninth-straight victory, a new UMB record for a single season, and the second-longest overall streak in the 33-year history of the program.
UMass Boston cruised to the victory over the winless Colonials, jumping out to a 2-0 advantage before the match even started, thanks to Western Connecticut State forfeits at number three doubles and number six singles.
Captains Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.) and Alex Loyer (Chelmsford, Mass.) pushed the Beacons lead to 3-0 with an 8-1 victory over Christ Turner and Matt Ramano at number two doubles to extend their doubles winning streak to nine in a row.
The Beacons officially wrapped up the victory at the top spot in the LEC at number five singles, when Seth Shavers (Boston, Mass.) cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Romney Tiru.
Lai kept the Beacons' momentum going with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Turner at number four singles, and Hernandez had no trouble defeating Matt Ramano in number two singles, earning a 6-0, 6-1 win to push the UMB lead to 7-0.
Loyer came back from a 3-2 deficit in the second set of his second flight doubles match, to take a 6-1, 6-3 victory. With his pair of wins on the day, Loyer extended his personal winning streak to 19 in a row.
In the final and closest match of the day, Cullen outlasted Bucknam 6-2, 4-6, (10-4) to help the Beacons finish off their second victory in 11 tries against Western Connecticut State.
UMass Boston will look to close out their Little East Conference with a spotless record Saturday when they travel to Bridgewater State University for a Noon match. Western Connecticut State will conclude their season with a 1 p.m. match at UMass Dartmouth on Saturday.