WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley men's tennis team begins its quest for a fourth straight trip to the Northeast-10 finals when they host Southern New Hampshire on Friday at 2:00 pm. If weather forces the match indoors, it will be played at the Woburn Racquet Club at 10:00 am.
The Falcons earned the second seed in the tournament and a bye to the semifinals by virtue of their 7-2 record in the NE-10, and a 5-4 win over the Penmen on the final day of the regular season which gave them the tiebreaker over Southern, which finished 7-2 as well. Southern defeated American International 5-1 in the first round on Wednesday. The two squads are also right next to each other in the latest NCAA East Region rankings, with Bentley 7th and the Penmen 8th.
These two teams have met in the postseason in each of the last two years. Bentley defeated Southern twice in the 2011 postseason, first in the NE-10 finals for its second straight conference title, and again in the first round of the NCAA East Regional. Last year, Bentley defeated Southern 5-4 in the NE-10 semifinals before having its bid for an NE-10 three-peat ended by Merrimack.
Bentley will head into postseason play led by top singles player Rodrigo Ribeiro (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Chapel School), who was named All-Conference on Tuesday for the fourth straight year. Ribeiro was one of four players on the team to win at least five singles matches in conference play out of nine.
Junior Andrew Waddington (Granby, Conn./Granby Memorial), who won the decisive singles match in last year's semifinal against Southern, earned All-Conference honors in singles as well after going 6-3. Junior Jimmy Rindo (Lowell, Mass./Lowell) and sophomore Raghav Tanna (Burlington, Mass./Burlington) were also effective singles players throughout the season, as Rindo produced a 5-4 conference record and Tanna a 5-2 mark.
The Falcons also received a late season boost from the return of senior Lucas Wever (Sao Paulo, Brazil/Chapel School) from a season long injury. The three-time All-Conference honoree returned for the final four matches of the season and went 2-2 in singles, including a win against Southern in the regular season finale.
Bentley's top doubles team heading into the postseason is likely Ribeiro and freshman Kamil Pilch (Wroclaw, Poland/IMG Pendleton). The pair went 5-1 in No. 1 doubles matches within the conference in the spring season, and garnered second team All-Conference honors.
Friday's other semifinal will see the top seed and defending champion Merrimack take on the fifth seed Adelphi. The finals will be Sunday at the highest remaining seed.