NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA -For the third time in four seasons, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's tennis team will participate in the NCAA Division III Championships.
The Corsairs earned the LEC's automatic berth into the NCAAs when they defeated visiting Bridgewater State, in the Little East Conference championship match at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex Saturday. Per conference rules, the match was terminated when the Corsairs reached five points and clinched the decision.
The Corsairs swept all three doubles matches. Juniors Karsten Rathlev (Winchester, MA/Winchester HS) and Guillaume Cotte (Grenoble, France) defeated freshman Wesley Esthimer (Franklin, MA/Franklin HS) and senior Mike Zagame (Uxbridge, MA/Uxbridge HS) at number one doubles, 8-4. Senior Brennan Dugas (East Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/New York City Tech) and sophomore Matt Bejtlich (Rochester, MA/Moses Brown HS) downed freshman Sean Bleau (North Dighton, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) and sophomore Jesse Gotlib(Dartmouth, MA/Dartmouth HS) at number two doubles, 8-3, and junior Mike Parker (Scituate, MA/Scituate HS) and senior Brian Lui (Medfield, MA/Medfield HS) defeated sophomore Cody Farrell (Scituate, MA/Scituate HS) and junior Nick Desisto (Uxbridge, MA/Uxbridge HS) at number three doubles, 8-4.
Dugas made the score 4-0 when he defeated Gotlib at number four singles, 6-2, 6-0. Cotte then clinched the decision with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Zagame at number two singles.
"I'm very excited, we played well all year," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Tom Mendell. "This was one of our goals at the beginning of the season, and, thankfully, we achieved that goal and now we're looking forward to the NCAAs. From one through six, everyone played well in singles and doubles, and I have no complaints."
Cotte was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. "They were all just about at match point, and Guillaume happened to get the first one that clinched the match, and, as a result, he was the Most Valuable Player of the tournament," said Mendell. "We'll be moving up a couple of steps to go into the NCAAs. We've played decently in the past and I expect us to play decently again this year. It's a tough road going against bigger schools with Division I talent, but we look forward to going and doing well."
The Corsairs improved to 13-2 with the victory, while the Bears fell to 9-6 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will find out its first round opponent and venue when the NCAA pairings are released Monday evening. The match was the final action of the season for Bridgewater State.
UMASS DARTMOUTH TENNIS