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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s tennis establishes themselves as wild card in LEC mold

Olivia Reid
A men’s tennis player prepares to serve during a home match. Photo by Olivia Reid / Photography Editor.

It was a back-and-forth season for men’s tennis, who accumulated a 4–4 record over their first eight games, but throughout the ups and downs, they have rightfully secured a playoff spot in the upcoming Little East Conference tournament. According to Beacons Athletics, the first-round matchups for the tournament have been released, and the Beacons are deadlocked in the fifth seed, facing Salem State University—the fourth seed—Tuesday, April 30 [1]. 

Though the fifth seed gives the Beacons little to no shot at securing a home game in the playoffs—barring defeats of the first four seeded teams—the team’s heroics in their recent matchups helped pave the way for a top-five placement. Since their postponed game against University of Saint Joseph April 11, the Beacons have played effectively against fellow LEC tournament-bound teams. 

Most notably, their first game after the canceled matchup, a 5–4 win over Vermont State University Castleton April 16, helped them leapfrog the Knights in the standings. As of now, the win was ever more crucial, as Castleton is now in sole possession of the sixth seed [1]. 

The victory didn’t come without its fair share of theatrics, though. According to Beacons Athletics, UMass Boston had to come back from a 2–1 deficit after dropping two sets in doubles. Their lone doubles win was an 8–0 sweep from the #1 doubles duo of Rudraksha Trivedi and Kevin Kubinec. In singles, the first four ranked singles players came up clutch, as all of them won their respective matches. Kubinec made light work in the #2 singles, sweeping his competitor 6–0 in both sets, while Trivedi won 6–1 in set one and 6–4 in set two.

The other points came from Guillerme Ozoros, whose nail biting 7–6 victory in the point-deciding third set gave UMass Boston the 4–2 edge, and Thomas Tran, who secured the victory for the Beacons with a 6–2 win in the set three rubber match [2]. 

The thrilling win over Castleton gave the Beacons some momentum heading into their April 19 matchup with Rhode Island College. However, despite putting up a good fight against the Anchormen, the Beacons fell short on the road, 5–4. Fortunately, the loss can still be chalked up as a moral victory for the Beacons, as Rhode Island College holds the second seed in the LEC tournament [1]. If anything, the close score proves the Beacons—despite the lower seeding—are capable of holding their own with the top teams in the LEC.

After dropping a match to the Anchormen, the Beacons had a golden opportunity to right the ship when they traveled to New Haven, Conn. on Sunday, April 21, to take on a winless team in Albertus Magnus College. Luckily for the Beacons, they kept the Falcons’ losing streak alive with a 6–2 win. In doubles, Kubinec and Tran teamed up as the top-ranked duo, giving UMass Boston a 1–0 lead with an 8–3 set win, per Beacons Athletics [3]. Trivedi grouped with Ozoros in the #2 doubles for an 8–4 victory, helping the team secure a 2–1 lead heading into singles. 

In the one-on-ones, Kubinec came out with a sweep for the second consecutive game with 6–0 set victories in the #2 singles. Trivedi followed suit with 6–0 and 6–2 set wins to help UMass Boston extend the lead to 4–2. Ozoros notched a 6–3 victory in set three of the #4 singles for a fifth UMass Boston point, certifying the victory for the team. For good measure, Felix Nguyen gave UMass Boston a sixth point in the #5 singles with set victories of 6–0 and 6–1, etching a 6–2 score into the books.

Following their trip to Connecticut, the team came back home to face their future first round opponent in Salem State University. Although, their success from the previous day didn’t carry over into their match with the Vikings, as they hit rough waters with an 8–1 loss. However, the lopsided score doesn’t tell the full story.

The match was even throughout its entirety; while Salem State pulled through with eight wins on the day, the Beacons undoubtedly gave them a run for their money. All three doubles matches ended 8–7 in favor of the Vikings, and four of the six singles matches were decided by tiebreaking sets, per Beacons Athletics [4]. One of those three set games landed in favor of UMass Boston; Kubinec secured a point with a 6–2 set three victory. Regardless of the end result, both teams were neck and neck—the Beacons were just unable to pull through late. 

Despite some hiccups late in the year, men’s tennis has shown flashes of potential with their tenacity and grit against some of the LEC’s best. A lot has to go right for the Beacons in the upcoming tournament, but make no mistake, they’ve shown they can make a lot of noise, and their candidacy as a dark horse is running strong. For now, the road starts in Salem, where they’ll need to settle the score against the Vikings.  

  1. LEC Releases 2024 Men’s Tennis Standings and Tournament Schedule – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  2. Men’s Tennis vs Castleton University on 4/16/2024 – Box Score – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  3. Men’s Tennis vs Albertus Magnus College on 4/21/2024 – Box Score – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  4. Men’s Tennis vs Salem State University on 4/22/2024 – Box Score – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
About the Contributors
Nick Collins, Sports Editor
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor