May 4, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's tennis team will try to do something that they haven't done before when they begin Little East Conference playoff action by hosting Southern Maine Thursday. The match is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. at the UMD Athletic Complex.
The Corsairs, who won the LEC Tournament, earned an NCAA bid and won a first round match after finishing second in the conference two years, completed an undefeated regular season and are the top-seeded team in the tournament. As the top seed, UMD will host all of their playoff matches.
UMass Dartmouth begins the playoffs with a 9-0 record, going 6-0 against LEC foes. The Huskies, who defeated Bridgewater State, 5-0 Tuesday afternoon, is 9-5 overall and went 3-3 in regular season LEC play, and is the fourth-seeded team. The Corsairs defeated Southern Maine, 6-3, at UMass Dartmouth April 22nd.
"One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to try to win the league and play in the tournament, and we have succeeded," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Tom Mendell. "If we can win, it will be the second time in three years we've made it to the NCAA Tournament."
The Corsairs, who only had to win two 5-4 matches to go undefeated, are optimistic. "We've been working very hard, and we've had excellent practices, weather permitting," said Mendell. "Our team really seems to be up for this challenge, and they play up to their capabilities, I think we have a pretty good chance to win."
Junior Brian Lui (Medfield, MA/Medfield HS) and senior Mike Fink (Sagamore Beach, MA/Sturgis Charter School) join sophomore Karsten Rathlev (Winchester, MA/Winchester HS) in returning from the 2009 team that advanced to the NCAAs and defeated Neumann in a first round match. Rathlev, who played number three singles on that team, is the number one player this spring, and is one of four Corsairs who are undefeated in singles. Junior Brennan Dugas (East Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/New York City Tech), who plays number two singles' sophomore Mike Parker (Scituate, MA/Scituate HS), who plays number three; and freshman Matt Bejtlich (Rochester, MA/Moses Brown HS), who plays number four, are unbeaten in singles.
"Having our top four players undefeated in singles is quite an accomplishment," said Mendell. If the Corsairs win Thursday, they will host the championship match Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
UMASS DARTMOUTH TENNIS