Corsairs Edge Beacons, Advance To Little East Conference Championship

Corsairs Edge Beacons, Advance To Little East Conference Championship

DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Sophomore Corey Rafter (Franklin, Mass.) won the decisive match at fourth-flight singles 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 to lift the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 5-4 victory over intrastate rival University of Massachusetts Boston this afternoon in the semifinals of the 2015 Little East Conference Men's Tennis Championship tournament at the UMD Tennis Courts.

The Corsairs (7-7) will advance to the Championship Game of the Little East Conference tournament for the fourth time in the past five seasons. Second-seeded UMass Dartmouth will travel to top-seed University of Southern Maine at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.  The Beacons completed their 2015 campaign with an overall record of 6-11.

Rafter, who is 4-0 this season in three-set matches, fell in straight sets to his opponent, Greg Fleming, on April 18 in Boston, Mass. Twelve days later, the Franklin, Mass. product won six of the final eight games to seal the victory for the Corsairs.

UMass Dartmouth overcame a 2-1 deficit after doubles competition, winning the opening three singles matches.  Senior captain Malcolm Neville (Foxboro, Mass.) keyed the surge with a 6-1, 6-0 straight-set victory over Vald Leopard at No. 6 singles.  Junior Cory Hoi (Westerly, R.I.) swept Wyatt Towle at fifth-flight singles 6-0, 6-0.  Senior captain Ray Lawton (Fairhaven, Mass.) capped the run with a 6-4, 6-2 decision at No. 2 singles to give the Corsairs a 4-2 advantage.

However, UMass Boston battled back as Jack Wang earned a 6-4, 6-4 win over junior Jake Jaskolka (Mattapoisett, Mass.).  Junior Daniel Chouinard (Westport, Mass.) won the opening set at top-flight singles, but Charles Lai rallied to take the final two sets 6-4, 6-4 to forge a 4-all tie.

Junior Andrew Burdick (Dartmouth, Mass.) and Neville combined for UMass Dartmouth's lone win of the doubles competition, defeating Nikhil Illa and Wyatt.