Boston College men’s tennis has endured a tough season up to this point, but there were small glimpses of promise heading into Sunday’s doubleheader with Georgia Tech and Bentley. On Friday, the Eagles narrowly fell to Clemson, 5-2. Two of the matches that BC lost went to three sets—had it pulled those out, BC would have pulled off the upset. It was a similar story on Sunday, as the Eagles were edged out by the Yellow Jackets, 5-2, but they closed out the regular season with a strong 7-0 victory over the Falcons.
In the latter match, BC (7-16, 0-13 Atlantic Coast) dominated Bentley (12-6, 5-1 NE10) in all respects. Max Palmer and Conor Mullins operated in the first doubles slot, and they earned a victory over Dylan Granat and Michael Fuca, 6-2. Soon after, Chris Grasel and Santiago Montufar defeated Connor Aulson and Daniel Weitz to secure the doubles point for the Eagles.
The Falcons didn’t stand much of a chance in singles, either. Grasel once again displayed excellent form, beating Weitz on the first court, 6-1, 6-3. Mullins faced a tougher challenge from Fuca at second singles, though. Fuca forced a tiebreaker in the first set, but Mullins edged him out and earned the victory with a 6-4 second-set win. Then, Palmer triumphed over Aulson, 6-2, 6-4.
Down the rest of the lineup, BC continued to claim victories. Perhaps the most impressive performance came from Alexander Chieffalo, who made next to no errors in blanking Kendall Alu, 6-0, 6-0. At fifth singles, Nicolas deQuesada found himself in a battle. The junior struggled in the first set, as he fell to Mauricio Fadul Rubod, 6-2. But deQuesada rebounded, taking the second set, 6-3, and prevailing in the superbreaker, 10-3. Finally, Will Conigliaro cleaned up Nicolas Hatcher, 6-1, 6-4, to polish off the match.
Earlier in the day, the Eagles put up a valiant effort against the Yellow Jackets (11-10, 6-6 Atlantic Coast) that ultimately fell short. While Max Mendelsohn and Sean Mullins were beating Pablo Schelcher and Joseph Gandolfo, 4-3, their match eventually went unfinished, as BC’s top two teams—Derek Austin and Conor Mullins along with Grasel and Markus Nordby—both fell, 6-2, effectively giving GT the early lead.
While doubles play was fairly one-sided, singles was anything but that. Of the six singles matches, four lasted for three sets. At the top of the lineup, Austin fell to Carlos Divar. The junior dropped the first set, 6-3, stormed back in the second set, 7-6, but finally ran out of gas, as he lost the final set, 6-1. Nordby fell in straight sets to Andrew Lie, but it was still quite close, as the final tally came out to 6-4, 6-4. Mendelsohn notched the first point for the Eagles on the third court. He initially fell to Phillip Gresk, 6-3, in the first frame, but he regained his form soon after. In the second set, Mendelsohn dominated, 6-1, before edging out Gresk, 7-5, in the final set.
BC notched its second and final point at fourth singles, thanks to Conor Mullins, who triumphed over Schelcher in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6. Chieffalo prevailed in the first frame, 6-4, against Cole Gromley, but he could not sustain his momentum as he lost in the last two sets, 6-2, 6-4. And Sean Mullins was edged out by Brandon Freestone by the narrowest of margins. Mullins dropped the first set, 6-4, came back to win the second set in a tiebreaker, 7-6, before finally falling in the superbreaker, 10-8.
With the weekend split, BC ends the regular season with a 7-16 record and an 0-13 mark in conference play. The outcome was far from desirable for the Eagles, but they displayed renewed vigor near the end of the year, and this was on full display over the past few days. The Bentley victory, along with strong showings against Clemson and Georgia Tech, will surely give the Eagles confidence heading into the ACC Tournament.
Ending the season—as well as the era in the Flynn Recreation Complex—with a 7-0 showing on Apr. 14 was quite fitting. On Wednesday, BC will venture down to Cary, N.C., to participate in the ACC Tournament. The Eagles’ first round opponent is Clemson, the same team that they gave fits on Friday. Should things swing in BC’s favor, it has a decent chance of topping the Tigers and ending its streak of three straight first-round exits.
Featured Image by Delaney Vorwick / For The Heights