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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

How was men’s tennis season?

A+previous+men%26%238217%3Bs+tennis+home+game+against+Rhode+Island+College.+Photo+courtesy+of+Beacon+Athletics.

A previous men’s tennis home game against Rhode Island College. Photo courtesy of Beacon Athletics.

On the surface, spring 2023 seemed to be a poor season for the UMass Boston Men’s Tennis Team. Looking closely, students realize their heroic feat. The team began with only four players and a losing record, but as the season progressed, students joined the team and the Beacons began to win.
Their situation 
UMass Boston began the season shorthanded with only four players on the active roster. Having only four Beacons on the courts made playing six matches demanding. During the first few games of the season, some players had to play three matches in one daytwo singles and a doubles match.
For reference, UMass Boston Women’s Tennis Team, who took home the LEC Championship last fall, has nine players. They were able to manage the load by giving some players only one singles match and other key players twoa single and a double. Making players play three matches in a row made it unlikely the Beacons would ultimately win.
The Season 
The first game of the spring was March 21 against the University of Saint Joseph. Patrick Ramos won his singles match, along with his doubles match with partner Max Dill. Unsurprisingly, the overall score came as a defeat for the Beacons at 7–2 (2).
Ramos is a transfer from the University of San Francisco, completing his junior year. Through the season, he has been a very consistent player, winning 11 out of 14 games played. Most importantly, he ensured that if the Beacons lost, they didn’t end up empty handed (3).
The following matches against non-conference opponents tended to get canceled. When the Beacons did play, Ramos brought a win, oftentimes two, alongside his doubles partner Dill. Nevertheless, the Beacons sustained a losing record.
Once the team started their conference matches, their situation began to change.
Karsten Bourgoine was the first new addition to the team. He eased the weight for the Beacons playing in their second conference game against Bridgewater State University.
The Beacons gave up their third doubles and last singles match, as they had nobody to play them. Ramos still brought his two usual wins and Melvin Nina put a strong effort forward entering the third set of his match but losing 12–10. Bourgoine tried the court for the first time, playing the fifth singles match.
The next time the Beacons had a conference match, a new face was added to the team.
Grady Friedman played his first game April 11, an encounter at home against Castleton. Now, having six players on the roster, the team found more balance and ignited an existing turn of events.
For starters, Ramos switched doubles partners, taking the court with Felix Nguyen. This enabled Dill to play with Nina, and the two newcomers, Bourgoine and Friedman, played together. The three pairs combined forces and brought home the three doubles.
The Beacons continued their 3–0 score by winning in their singles matches. Ramos succeeded at the first singles match, Dill and Nina followed in his footsteps by adding two more to the final score board. At 6–2 the match against Castleton University was ensured to bring the first win of the season. Surprisingly, the new addition, Friedman, won the sixth singles match and added his very own point to the final score, ending the day at 7–2.
Winning against Castleton, an LEC opponent, brought the Beacons out of the bottom of the standings and placed them at the fifth seed.
After a series of cancellations, UMass Boston faced a non-conference opponent, Wheaton college, and was completely defeated 9–0.
On Saturday, April 15, during the game against Rhode Island College, the Beacons fell back to their old pattern. To be fair, Rhode Island has lost only one game to the undefeated Salem State University, so a match against a team was more demanding than Castleton, which is last in the standings.
Ramos took home his two wins; his singles match and the doubles match with Nina. Dill added a third from his own singles match. Nevertheless, the game ended as a loss for the Beacons 6–3.
The second to last game was against the University of Southern Maine on April 19. Southern Maine also has a losing record, and the Beacons added one more.
In this instance, the team added one more player. Ryan Tran was joined by Ramos as a doubles partner for his first match. It could be assumed that Tran is a tenacious player, as he was paired with the strongest player on the team for his debut match. As usual, Ramos’ double and single matches were wins for the Beacons.
Nina and Dill added to the record as partners during their doubles and during their singles matches. The game came to an end as the second win for the Beacons at 5–4.
Salem State University
The UMass Boston men’s team gained traction, adding new faces every time they entered the courts for a new conference match. Ramos ended the season ranking fourth in the first singles. He was the player that consistently kept the Beacons from being completely defeated and helped propel the team forward. Through the hard work of the revitalized Beacons squad, they gained two wins and ended the season at the fifth seed moving forward to championship playoffs (5).
Their game against Salem State put another hard-fought match into the loss column, the final score being 5–4 (6). The Beacons put up a fight against the top ranked Vikings, trailing 2–1 as they headed into singles matches after the duo of Dill and Nina won the #2 doubles match, 8–5. However, while the group needed to come up with four singles wins, they unfortunately were only able to muster up three wins (6).
Ramos took care of business in the #1 singles, defeating Andrew Muttiah with identical 6–1 sets. Bourgoine followed in Ramos’ footsteps with a win in the #5 singles in a three set, tiebreaker victory in which he came back down 1–0 to defeat Kevin Merino-Rivas 6–4 and 10–8. Tran was the final Beacon to pick up a point for UMass Boston, taking out Josh Gruber in two sets by scores of 6–4 and 6–3.
As for Nina, Dill and Nguyen, they ultimately came up short in their matches; Nina dropped the #2 singles match in two sets to Cory Cherico, 6–1 and 6–3. Dill lost two sets against Quentin Wilkins with scores of 6–1 and 6–0, while Nguyen’s matchup against Parker Andreoli resulted in a sweep on Andreoli’s behalf with consecutive 6–0 sets (6).
Although the outcome against Salem State was not the one the Beacons intended, they should be proud of their efforts as they admirably carried out a near victory over the top seeded team in the LEC. If anything, the group can see it as a moral victory, and the morale boost could give them the confidence needed to come out of their tournament matchup with a victory.
Now looking forward with some fresh faces and a rounded-out squad, the Beacons hope to make some noise and light up their upcoming opponents in the LEC tournament. Their first-round matchup coming against Bridgewater State Tuesday, April 25 is one you will not want to miss because if you look closely, you’ll see that there may be a Cinderella story brewing on the courts.

(1) https://olympics.com/en/news/tennis-rankings-atp-wta-men-women-doubles-singles-system-grand-slam-olympics

(2) http://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/3/21/mens-tennis-falls-in-first-match-of-spring-season-to-university-of-saint-joseph.aspx

(3) )http://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-tennis/schedule

(4) http://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-tennis/roster/patrick-ramos/9000
(5) https://static.littleeast.com/custompages/sports/mten/2022-23/confstat.htm
(6) http://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-tennis/stats/2022-23/salem-state-university/boxscore/5181

About the Contributor
Valentina Valderrama Perez, Features Writer