Men's Tennis Claims Little East Conference Honors

Men's Tennis Claims Little East Conference Honors

June 1, 2009

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's tennis team earned eight post-season awards, including three major honors, when the Little East Conference released their 2009 All-Conference Team.

Four Corsairs earned first team All-LEC honors, including sophomore Mason Viau (Marion, MA/Bishop Hendricken HS/Connecticut, who was named LEC Player of the Year, and freshman Troy Pandolfi (Danbury, CT/Danbury HS), who was named Rookie of the Year. Viau earned first team All-Conference honors at number one singles, Pandolfi was named first team at number two singles, junior Ken Sims (Chelmsford, MA/ Chelmsford HS) was named first team at number five singles, and Viau and senior Christoph Forster (Reading, MA/Reading HS) were named first team All-LEC at number two doubles. Freshman Karsten Rathlev (Winchester, MA/Winchester HS) was named second team All-Conference at number three singles, and Head Coach Tom Mendell was named LEC Coach of the Year.

Viau went 11-1 in singles this spring, winning his first 10 matches, including all six LEC matches, before losing to Salem State's Adrien Malosse in the LEC championship match. He defeated Neumann's David Pfister at number one singles in the Corsairs' NCAA Tournament win against Neumann, and his match against Williams in the second round was not finished. In doubles, Viau and Forster went 4-0 at number two doubles in the LEC and were 5-1 overall, splitting a pair of matches at the number one doubles position. They were 11-2 overall in doubles, winning their NCAA Tournament first round match against Neumann and falling to Williams, 8-6, in the second round. Forster was UMass Dartmouth's captain this season.

Pandolfi went 9-1 overall in singles this season, posting a 6-0 mark at number two singles in the Little East, winning five of his six conference matches in straight sets and the other one in a third-set super-tiebreaker. He defeated Bridgewater State's Duncan Yarworth in three sets in the LEC semi-finals. That was the only one of his post-season matches that was finished. Sims was 9-2 in singles, winning all six of his LEC matches. Five of his victories came at number five singles, with the sixth at number three. He defeated Salem State's David Leete at number five singles in the LEC championship match, and lost to Kevin Shallcross of Williams in the NCAAs.

Rathlev was 11-1 in singles, losing only to Alex Eisath of Salem State in the regular season match between the Corsairs and Vikings. He went 4-1 at number three singles in Little East competition, and won post-season matches against Rhode Island College, Bridgewater State, Salem State and Neumann.

Mendell led the Corsairs to the LEC championship for the second time in his seven-year tenure as head coach, and led UMass Dartmouth to their first appearance and first victory ever in the NCAA Division III Championships. The Corsairs were 13-2 and set a record for the most victories in a season by the program, and Mendell's record in seven years as head coach is now 39-38.

"Our players' awards are all well-deserved," said Mendell. "I was super pleased, they all put a lot of effort into it and it paid off. They were just a great bunch, they worked very hard, and it paid off. Hopefully, we can replace the players who are graduating and continue our success."

"Tom's honor is well-deserved, and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy," said UMass Dartmouth Director of Athletics Ian Day. "Our team's success speaks for itself. For us to come this far this quickly is great, and I hope that we can continue to be successful."

The awards marked a sweep of the three major individual awards by the UMass Dartmouth tennis teams this season. Sophomore Amy Lopes (Dartmouth, MA/ Dartmouth HS) was named LEC Women's Tennis Player of the Year last fall, freshman Kelsey Grossmann (Holliston, MA/Holliston HS) was named LEC Rookie of the Year, and Head Coach Ralph Perry was named Coach of the Year. The women's team also advanced to the NCAAs for the first time ever.