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LAST STAND: Men’s tennis aims for seventh straight AE title
Top-seeded BU opens defense of crown vs. #4 Hartford Friday night in Maryland
April 24, 2014Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (email@example.com)
VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton men’s tennis (14-11) will be gunning for the program’s seventh consecutive America East title and 10th overall (in 13 years) when the Bearcats carry the top seed into this weekend’s championship, hosted by UMBC at the Wilde Lake Community Center in Columbia, Md.
Binghamton faces fourth-seeded Hartford in Friday’s second semifinal, scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Second-seeded UMBC faces third-seeded Stony Brook in the earlier semifinal. The two winners square off in Sunday’s 10 a.m. title match.
The 2014 championship will be the last men’s tennis event sponsored by the America East and unlike past years, the 2014 champion will not receive a berth into the NCAA tournament, as the sport sponsorship (4 schools) fell short of the NCAA requirement. Binghamton will begin its membership in the Mid-American Conference next fall and will be eligible to compete for that conference’s NCAA automatic bid in the spring.
But head coach Adam Cohen and his Bearcats are looking to end their era in style by extending one of the longest championship streaks of any sport in the America East.
“We’re looking forward to the America East championships this weekend,” Cohen said. “The guys have worked hard throughout the spring and I know they want to come away with the last men’s tennis championship.”
Binghamton ramped up its schedule this year and absorbed seven losses against ranked opponents. The Bearcats have won three of their last four matches, including comfortable wins against America East opponents. Last Friday, BU defeated both Hartford (7-0) and Stony Brook (4-1) and back on April 12, Binghamton posted a 5-2 win over UMBC. The Bearcats and host Retrievers have met in each of the last four America East championship matches and BU has a 12-match win streak against its closest conference rival.
Reigning Player of the Year Sid Hazarika has won his last three matches and has 17 wins in his sophomore season. Junior Robin Lesage has 20 singles wins and sophomore Eliott Hureau has a team-best 21, including a 14-9 dual match mark. Senior Florian van Kann, competing in his final spring, is 10-4 overall.
America East Championship Bracket
Held at Wilde Lake Community Center, Columbia, Md. (hosted by UMBC)
FRIDAY, April 25
2 p.m. - No. 2 UMBC (12-9) vs. No. 3 Stony Brook (12-6)
5 p.m. - No. 1 Binghamton (14-11) vs. No. 4 Hartford (5-11)
SUNDAY, April 27
10 a.m. - Championship Match