Waltham, Mass. – Bentley University returns to the NCAA Tournament stage on Saturday when they take on Chestnut Hill in the East Regional. The match will be hosted by Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y. and gets underway at 12:00 pm.
The Falcons are the No. 5 seed in the East Region after a 15-8 regular season and a 10-4 East Region record. In the NE10, the team went 7-2 and advanced to the conference semifinals. Chestnut Hill, meanwhile, is the No. 4 seed after a 17-6 regular season and a 14-2 mark within the region. A member of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, the Griffins were 6-2 and advanced to the CACC finals where they were beaten by Concordia.
The winner of Saturday's match will face Concordia, the region's top seed, on Sunday.
The other half of the region has two NE10 teams. Merrimack the No. 6 seed takes on the No. 3 seed Queens (NY) on Saturday, with the No. 2 seed Southern New Hampshire awaiting the winner on Sunday.
Heading into Saturday's match, Bentley boasts four All-NE10 selections in sophomores Connor Aulson (Groveland, Mass./Pentucket), Daniel Weitz (Roslyn, N.Y./Roslyn) and Mauricio Fadul (Key Biscayne, Fla.) and freshman Alexander Novins (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley).
Aulson leads the team with 16 singles win so far, with Weitz second with 13 victories. Both Fadul and Novins are 8-1 in singles play.
Bentley's No. 1 singles player this season has been senior Dylan Granat (Woodbury, N.Y./Syosset), who was named the NE10 Player of the Week on April 23. Fellow senior Michael Fuca (Manchester, Mass./Manchester-Essex) has been the squad's No. 3 singles player and is currently 3rd on the team with 11 singles wins. Sophomore Jose Dalla Valle (Miami, Fla.) sports a 2-0 singles record coming into the tournament.
In doubles, Fuca and senior Brett Gilman (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) have been Bentley's primary No. 2 pairing, while Weitz and junior Kendall Au (Essex Fells, N.J./West Essex) lead the team in overall doubles victories. Senior Nick Hatcher (Danbury, Conn./Immaculate) and Fadul have the highest winning percentage at No. 3 with a .714 percentage.
Chestnut Hill meanwhile has a distinctively international flavor to its roster. All eight of the players on its roster are from outside the United States, with six from Europe and one each from Venezuela and Australia. Its No. 1 singles player is freshman Tom Pitchley, and the No. 1 doubles team is Pitchley and junior Erik Jorsal. By record, freshman Kai Adler and junior Antonie Gautier led the team in singles wins, with 17 and 16 so far.
This will be Bentley's first appearance in the NCAA's since the 2011-12 season, which capped a run of three straight selections.