DANBURY, Conn.—Shorthanded UMass Boston men's tennis saw their quest for a perfect regular season fall just short Saturday, as the top team in the Little East Conference fell 5-4 on the road at Western Connecticut State University.
Western Connecticut State 5, UMass Boston 4
(UMass Boston 8-5, Little East 5-1)
(Western Conn. 5-7, Little East 3-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
With two of their top three players unavailable, UMass Boston rallied from an early 2-1 deficit to tie the match at 4-4, but Western earned a three-set victory at third singles.
The Beacons opened the match with a victory at third doubles. Sharma and Tran teamed up for the first time all season and earned an 8-4 win.
Western responded with an 8-4 win at second doubles and then Chauncey Allers and Aaron Campos outlasted Miguel Beltran (Ashland, Mass.) and Onkgopotse Mokoka (Pretoria, South Africa) 9-7 at first doubles.
The Colonials extended their lead to 3-1 with a 6-3, 6-3 win at sixth singles.
UMass Boston answered back with back-to-back wins to tie the match at 3-3.
Junior Ray Platteel (Holbrook, Mass.) knocked off Allers 6-3, 6-1 at fifth singles. Sharma tacked on a 7-6 (7-1), 6-0 victory at second singles to even the match at 3-3.
Campos gave Western the lead right back, when the sophomore defeated Beltran 6-4, 6-1 at first singles.
Tran kept the match decision in question at fourth singles. The junior ralled from a 7-5 first-set loss, to earn a 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Jeffrey Baker.
In the final match of the day, Matthew Carino outlasted Mokoka 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at third singles.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Even with the loss, UMass Boston will be the number one seed in the upcoming LEC Tournament. The top-seeded Beacons will face off against either #4 Rhode Island College or #5 Western Connecticut State on Thursday in the LEC Semifinal Round.
- Sharma was playing in just his fifth doubles match of the season, while Huang was forced to play in his third singles match this year.
- Tran closes out the LEC Regular season with a perfect 5-0 record in conference singles matches.
- Senior Austin DeLasse (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and junior Josh Bhasin (Tulsa, Okla.) the Beacons number one and three singles player and their second doubles pair both were rested for the match.
- With the loss, UMass Boston saw their seven-match winning streak against the Colonials come to an end. Western improves to 10-8 all-time against UMass Boston.
UMass Boston will host an LEC Semifinal match on Thursday afternoon at the Weymouth Tennis Club.