April 19, 2014

Doubles Sweep Helps Men's Tennis Earn 6-3 Win over UMass Dartmouth

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass.—UMass Boston men's tennis (6-7, 3-1 Little East) used a sweep of doubles Saturday afternoon to cruise to a 6-3 victory over UMass Dartmouth (2-7, 1-3 Little East) in a highly-anticipated Little East Conference Tournament Title Match Rematch.

The Beacons used a pair of comebacks at number one and two doubles and victories at first, second and fourth singles to earn their program-record third-straight win against the Corsairs. Eric Berg's squad defeated UMass Dartmouth 5-4 in last year's LEC Title Match to earn their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Seniors Sean Cullen (Medway, Mass.), Charles Lai (Boston, Mass.) and Mark Grinhaus (Scarsdale, N.Y.) each went 2-0 on the afternoon for the visitors.

Lyle Analetto (Belmont, Mass.) and Jack Wang (Suzhou, China) opened the match with an 8-4 victory at number three doubles, to give UMass Boston a 1-0 lead.

The next two points wouldn't be nearly as easy, as Cullen and Lai had to come back from an early 3-0 deficit, to earn a hard-fought 8-6 victory over Matt Bejtlich and Dan Chouinard at top-flight singles. 

Second doubles would prove to be even closer, as the Beacons' pair of Eglis Bizhoti (Kucovё, Albania) and Grinhaus survived a pair of match points to earn a 9-8 (7-2) victory over Ray Lawton and Jake Joskolka.

The Beacons carried their momentum over to singles action, as Lai easily dispatched Chouinard 6-0, 6-3 at second-flight singles to put UMB within a point of a match victory.

UMass Dartmouth answered back with a victory at number three singles, as Lawton knocked off Bizhoti 6-4, 6-2.

Malcolm Neville cut the Corsairs deficit to 4-2 moments later, when he defeated Brian Sou (Revere, Mass.) 6-2, 6-4 at number six singles.

Grinhaus responded with a match-clinching victory at number four singles, as he defeated Jonathan Reagan 6-3, 6-2 to make it 5-2.

Cullen pushed the lead to 6-2 with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-3 victory over Bejtlich at number one singles.

The Corsairs capped off the match with a victory at fifth-singles, as Joskolka defeated Wang 6-3, 6-3.

UMass Boston will return to action on Monday afternoon, as the Beacons look to even up their record when they travel to take on Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) at 3:30 p.m.