For the second consecutive year, Eastern Nazarene’s men’s tennis team has advanced to the Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinals.
The No. 3 seed Lions defeated Wentworth Institute of Technology 5-0 on April 27 in the CCC quarterfinals.
The Lions earned three early points, winning all of the doubles matches. No. 1 doubles pair Austin Steelman (Darlington, Md.) and Nick Thompson (York, Pa.) defeated their opponents 8-1. Also winning 8-1 were Sam McKay-Corkum (Rehoboth, Mass.) and Tim Luz (Cumberland, RI) at No. 2 doubles. At No. 3 doubles, Richard Crooks (Collegeville, Pa.) and Greg Parenteau (Wolcott, Conn.) won 9-7 in a match that lasted more than an hour.
Steelman picked up the fourth point for the Lions with a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 1 singles over WIT’s James Drum. The match-clinching point came at No. 4 singles as Kevin Paterno (Buenos Aires, Argentina) beat his opponent 6-0, 6-1 to give the Lions a 5-0 victory.
In the playoffs, when a team earns their fifth point, the match is called immediately and all other matches remain unfinished.
“Winning a playoff match for the second straight year and making the playoffs for the third straight year tells me this is not a fluke thing,” said Steelman. “ENC has built a tennis program to be reckoned with.”
The 11-7 (6-2) Lions will take on Nichols College at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1 at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass.
Men’s tennis lost to Nichols 2-7 on April 6 at ENC. The Lions won No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles that day.
“We are underdogs on Wednesday, and we know it, but we are going to leave everything on the courts, and I know we have the ability to win,” said Steelman.
Steelman was recently recognized multiple times when the conference announced the 2013 All-CCC team.
Steelman was honored as the Senior Scholar-Athlete of the Year with a perfect 4.0 GPA, as well as earning first team singles honors. McKay-Corkum was named to second team singles, while Luz earned a singles honorable mention.
For doubles, Steelman and Thompson earned second team and McKay-Corkum and Luz earned honorable mention.
The winner of the Lions’ semifinals match against Nichols will take on the winner of Roger Williams and Endicott on Saturday, May 4.