Men's Tennis Advances To LEC Championship Match With 5-1 Win

Boston, Mass.—David Hernandez (Bogota, Colombia), Alex Loyer (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.) each won twice and UMass Boston advanced to their first Little East Conference Championship match in over 20 years Thursday afternoon, behind a 5-1 semifinal victory over fourth-seeded Bridgewater State University at the Beren Tennis Center.

UMass Boston will face off against defending-champion and second seeded UMass Dartmouth Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the duPont Tennis Courts on the campus of M.I.T. 

With the win, top-seeded UMass Boston earned their program record 11th consecutive victory and moved to 13-3 on the year. Bridgewater State ends their season at 10-6 overall.

UMass Boston took an early 2-1 lead behind victories at number one and number two doubles, before closing out the match with wins at second, third and fourth flight singles. As the match progressed, the players not only had to combat strong winds but also cold temperatures, as the thermometer dropped over 20 degrees in under two hours of play. 

The Beacons opened the match with a win at number one singles, as Hernandez and senior Sean Cullen (Medway, Mass.) cruised to an 8-1 victory over Jesse Gotlib and Sean Bleau.

Lai and Loyer picked up their 11th consecutive doubles victory at second-flight doubles, when they downed Hung Huynh and Eric Johnson 8-4.

In the longest matchup of the afternoon, Bridgewater State's Matt McLeod and Cody Farrell outlasted Eglis Bizhoti (Dorchester, Mass.) and Seth Shavers (Boston, Mass.) 8-5. 

UMass Boston would regroup and take a huge step forward in singles action, as five of six Beacons players took set number one to begin their matches.

Hernandez was the first to close out his match, as he put UMB ahead 3-1 with a 6-1, 6-3 margin of victory over McLeod at second-flight singles.

Loyer extended his personal winning streak to 23 in a row, when he finished off Gotlib 6-1, 6-0.

With all of the fans surrounding court number four, Lai pushed the Beacons to the next round at his old stomping ground. The junior captain dominated Farrell 6-0, 6-0 to close out the match.

In the three remaining unfinished singles matches: Bizhoti led Johnson 6-2, 3-1 at number six singles, Cullen led Wesley Esthimer 6-2, 3-4 at top flight singles and Shavers trailed Bleau 2-6, 6-3, 0-1 at number five singles.