MAHWAH, N.J. – A fantastic season came to a close for the Regis (Mass.) men's tennis team who fell 5-1 to Ramapo College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship Saturday at the Athletic Center. The Pride closes the season at 14-6 and runners up in its first season in the GNAC with Ramapo earning an automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.
Ramapo took the early lead with wins on the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles courts. Pallotta and Nolan Bebarta (Danville, Calif.) fell to the Roadrunner pair of Mike Abelev and Kevin Illnets 8-2 at second doubles with Horton and Chris Harrow (North Reading, Mass.) losing 8-4 at the one.
The Pride made a match of it however when Kyle Dugat (Houston, Texas) and Owen Pelissier (Hingham, Mass.) won an exciting third doubles match 9-7. They built a 3-0 lead only to see the Ramapo pair of Brendan Hines and Cal Cacciquida win six straight sets to just about put Ramapo in the drivers seat. Dugat and Pelissier would rally to get the crucial point heading to singles play.
The singles finishes went one (Harrow) and three (Bebarta) with the match-clincher coming on the No. 6 court in a 6-2, 7-5 victory by Cacciquida over Tim Miller (North Attleboro, Mass.). The match finished with Horton and Pallotta both eying victories on the two and five courts, respectively. Horton won a first-set tiebreak and was up 3-2 in the second and Pallotta was holding a 4-1 lead in set three.
Regis had advanced to the title match after running the table in the North Division regular season and beating Johnson & Wales (RI) in the tournament semifinal.