Southern Maine Wins its Third Straight Men's Tennis LEC Title, Defeats No. 3 UMass Boston 5-1

Southern Maine Wins its Third Straight Men's Tennis  LEC Title, Defeats No. 3 UMass Boston 5-1

(Courtesy of University of Southern Maine Athletic Department)

 

GORHAM, Maine  -- Senior Eric Berry-Sandelin (South Portland, Maine) and freshman Samuel Holland (Falmouth, Maine) rolled to a statement 8-0 win at second doubles to score the first points of the match as the University of Southern Maine Huskies' men's tennis team snagged its third consecutive Little East Conference Championship with a 5-1 win over third-seeded UMass Boston Saturday afternoon at the Gorham High School Tennis Courts.

With the win, Southern Maine, the top-seed in the tourney, improves to 11-2 overall and punches its ticket to the 2016 NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.  The Huskies' opponent and schedule has yet to be determined. The NCAA will announce the tourney field and brackets on Monday, May 9 at 12:00 p.m.  UMass Boston, making its second appearance in the LEC finals in the last three seasons, concludes its year at 8-12.

Berry-Sandelin and Holland avenged an April 9th regular season 8-4 loss to the Beacons' tandem of sophomores Austin DeLasse (Mexico City, Mexico) and Guang Huang (Quincy, Mass.) with their win at second doubles in the LEC Championship.  UMB tied the score at 1-1 with an 8-1 win at third doubles for sophomores Adhirath Bhatotia (New Delhi, India/Shri Ram School Aravali) and Shanshurt Sharma (Mumbai, India/Podar International School), but the Huskies took a 2-1 lead headed into singles action with a win at first doubles.   Senior Tyler Adams (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) and junior Kyle Curley (Gorham, Maine) battled to an 8-3 win over freshman Josh Bhasin (Tulsa, Okla./Strawberry Fields (India)) and junior Jack Wang (Suzhou, China/Suzhou First). 

In singles action, Adams and Curley continued their dominance against LEC opponents this season giving USM a 4-1 lead.  Adams downed DeLasse 6-2, 6-0 to earn his 39th straight victory at first singles, while Curley bounced Bhasin 6-0, 6-1 at second singles.  Huskies' rookie Holland rolled up USM's title with a strong 6-4, 6-1 win at fourth single downing Bhatotia for the fifth and final point of the match. 

Earning the 2016 Little East Conference Tournament Championship, Southern Maine earned the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.  Southern Maine has previously won the LEC title and gained a berth into the NCAAs in 2007, 2014 and 2015.  In the 2007 NCAA tournament, the Huskies' recorded its first ever NCAA win defeating Ithaca College 5-4 to advance to the second round before falling to Middlebury College 5-0.

Tyler Adams / Kyle Curley (USM)

def. Josh Bhasin / Jack Wang (UMBMT)

8-3

Eric Berry-Sandelin / Samuel Holland (USM)

def. Austin DeLasse / Guang Huang (UMBMT)

8-0

Adhirath Bhatobia / Sanshrut Sharma (UMBMT)

def. Sebastian Taylor / Robert Stowe (USM)

8-1

SINGLES

Tyler Adams (USM)

def. Austin DeLasse (UMBMT)

6-2, 6-0

Kyle Curley (USM)

def. Josh Bhasin (UMBMT)

6-0, 6-1

Eric Berry-Sandelin (USM)

def. Jack Wang (UMBMT)

FINAL - UNFINISHED

Samuel Holland (USM)

def. Adhirath Bhatobia (UMBMT)

6-4, 6-1

Sebastian Taylor (USM)

def. Sanshrut Sharma (UMBMT)

FINAL - UNFINISHED

Michael Wong (USM)

def. Vlad Leopard (UMBMT)

FINAL - UNFINISHED