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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Set for Season Finale

Photo by Shun Hasehawa
Photo by Shun Hasehawa

The UMass Boston men’s tennis team finished the 2004 regular season with a record of 2-10 as the Beacons split a two-game weekend on April 30 and May 1. Despite this being the first time the team has had a losing record in recent years, our gallant men, led by first-year coach Carl Briggs and captain Quazi Sadruzzaman, are ready for the Little East Conference Championships at the University of Southern Maine on May 7 and 8.

Their first opponent of the weekend was not too handy with a racket. Against Newbury College, the Beacons won all six singles and three doubles matches with none of the players losing more than two games. Among these easy matches, the most notable was #6 Trung Phan’s first win in his career (6-0, 6-2).

Asked how he felt after the memorable victory, Phan, a Vietnam native, bashfully said, “Nothing special. I just hope that win will help the team. And it was good for me to get some experience and confidence.” Coach Briggs delightfully commented on Phan, “He has become much better than before. He practices hard. It is good to see a win by any player who hasn’t experienced winning.”

Competition was never an issue for the Beacons in this game because of the Newbury players’ inexperience. Some of them had trouble even in avoiding straight double faults. UMB players were rarely provided with a chance to practice a rally.

Captain Sadruzzaman observes a benefit of the game: “We knew we were going to win before the game. It was easy to make fun of them, but every one of us respected them.”

Saturday’s game turned out to be the exact opposite from the day before for the Beacons as they lost to the University of Southern Maine by 2-7.

For the Beacons, #1 singles Sadruzzaman, as usual, crushed his opponent Boonthai Singcharern (6-0, 6-0) to complete an undefeated season with twelve consecutive wins and once again earned himself the Little East Conference Player of the Week Award. In addition, he and Dat Nguyen defeated Singcharern and Andy Urbanak in #1 doubles match (8-2).

After the doubles win, #2 singles Nguyen lost to Justin Chaffee in a tense three-set match as he had cramps in both his legs (6-3, 4-6, 6-3). Strong pain often stopped him from playing as he lied on the court wincing and holding his aching calves. Still, Nguyen rose to play again and again to finish the match.

Of his opponent Nguyen commented, “He was a tough and consistent player. He hit the balls back and forth. So I was forced to run a lot.”

The Beacons lost other matches. Yassir Bouabdallaoui, #3 singles, was defeated by Matt Filteau (6-1, 6-0), #4 Emilio Vallejo by Chris Chaffee (6-2, 6-3), #5 Jay Lee by Craig Spann (6-1, 6-0), and #6 Phan by Urbanak (6-3, 6-0). In doubles, #2 Vallejo and Lee lost to Filteau and Spann (8-1). UMB lost #3 doubles by forfeit.

In the championships, peoples’ primary focus will be on Sadruzzaman’s challenge to be #1 singles champion four years in a row, something nobody has accomplished in the history of the LEC. It seems there is no visible obstacle in front of his quest. He decorated his senior season with winning every game. But Sadruzzaman stays attentive, “I hope [I can win the tournament]. But anything can happen.”

Nguyen, the #2 player, will recover from cramps and try to anchor his prolific 7-5 season as a #2 singles champion. Coach Briggs is also confident with other players who will maximize their potential and practice hard to compete with six other teams in the two-day event. The Beacons have shown certain progress as they won two of the last four games. Coach Briggs is sure that his team has a fair chance to play better than its losing record shows.

Yassir Bouabdallaoui, Jay Lee, Ryu Ngo, Dat Nguyen, Trung Phan, Quazi Sadruzzaman, and Emilio Vallejo will represent UMB in the championships. Coach Briggs said that he believes in his players; “I think we can surprise people.”

About the Contributor
Shun Hasegawa served as the sports editor for The Mass Media for the following years: 2004-2005