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Men’s tennis blanks UMBC 4-0 for America East title
Bearcats capture sixth straight conference crown, advance to NCAAs again
April 28, 2013Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BALTIMORE, Md.—Binghamton men’s tennis continued its command of America East tennis with a 4-0 win over host and second-seeded UMBC in the championship match Sunday afternoon from the Retrievers Tennis Complex. The conference title was BU’s sixth straight and ninth in the last 11 years and advances the Bearcats to the NCAA tournament. It is one of the longest current title streaks of any team in any sport in the America East.
Head Coach Adam Cohen’s squad, which had two freshmen at the top of the lineup and five underclassmen playing singles, overcame its youth and a home-court Retrievers advantage that threatened to even the playing field. But the Bearcats came out and immediately put the pedal to the metal and grabbed the opening doubles point with two lopsided matches at first and second doubles. It was more of the same in singles as BU finished off UMBC in the first three completed matches.
“We came out with a lot of energy today from the first doubles point on,” Cohen said. “Our doubles play was probably the best its looked all season and from there we really put pressure on them, winning the first set in five of the six matches at singles. Every year is really so special and its just a testament to all the hard work these guys put in. We have a really young squad this season, so for guys like Sid (Hazarika), Alex (Maisin) and Elliot (Hureau) to step up at the top of our lineup has been really huge.”
Senior Bastian Bornkessel, the team’s lone senior who has seen nothing but titles in his four-year collegiate career, paired with freshman phenom Sid Hazarika for an 8-3 win at the top spot. The win was Bornkessel’s 70th career doubles victory, which ranks fourth in program history.
Junior Ruben Haggai and freshman Eliott Hureau combined for an 8-3 win at second doubles, beating their teammates at No. 3 to the wire to clinch the point and end doubles play. The third tandem of sophomores Robin Lesage and Ismael Dinia were up 6-4 when their match was halted.
In singles, Haggai polished off a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 5 to make it 2-0. Dinia won at No. 4, 6-3, 6-3 and Hazarika finished off the win with a 7-5, 6-0 triumph at first singles. Haggai, who stretched his win streak to 14 matches, was named the Most Outstanding Player. He went 2-0 in singles at the tournament and also posted a doubles win in the final to join his brother Alex Haggai as back-to-back Most Outstanding Players. The elder Haggai, a volunteer assistant this year while working toward his MBA at Binghamton, won the top honor last spring.
“Ruben deserved the award,” Cohen said. “He was our first guy off the court in singles today and before that, had a strong doubles match. He’s had a good run of late (14 straight wins) and was an important part of our championship run this weekend.”
Binghamton will gather Tuesday, April 30 to watch the unveiling of the 64-team NCAA Championship bracket and see where they will be headed. The team will meet the media and fans in the Events Center TAU Bearcat Room at 5 p.m. for the viewing on ncaa.com.
“We’re excited to learn where we will be headed for NCAAs and very happy to keep our season going,” Cohen said.
It was the fourth straight year and fifth in the last six that Binghamton has defeated UMBC in the finals.
No. 1 Binghamton 4, No. 2 UMBC 0
1. Bastian Bornkessel/Hazarika (BU) def. Justin Carter & Gaulthier Berret (UMBC), 8-3
2. Haggai/Eliott Hureau (BU) def. Melker Svard & Eliott Loubatie (UMBC), 8-3
3. Lesage/Dinia (BU) led Daniel Gray & Alexandre Drean (UMBC), 6-4
1. Sid Hazarika (BU) def. Justin Carter (UMBC), 7-5, 6-0
2. Alex Maisin (BU) led Melker Svard (UMBC), 6-4, 5-2
3. Robin Lesage (BU) led Alexandre Drean (UMBC), 6-2, 2-6, 2-2
4. Ismael Dinia (BU) def. Gaulthier Berret (UMBC), 6-3, 6-3
5. Ruben Haggai (BU) def. Kamal Patel (UMBC), 6-1, 6-1
6. Florian van Kann (BU) trailed Daniel Gray (UMBC), 5-7, 3-1