The limelight has shined on men’s tennis for two seasons, a rise to prominence the program hasn’t experienced since the late 1990s. In 2013, the Beavers advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time as a team in 16 years, and they made school history in spring 2014 when the program captured its initial NCAA Tournament victory.
“We worked together and pushed each other at every moment,” says Roberto Perez ’16, who led the squad with a team-best 13 singles wins and 12 doubles victories.
The 2013 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, Perez was one of three Babson players named to an all-conference team last spring. Both he and Victor Vu ’16 earned all-league accolades in singles and doubles play, while Isaac Thylen ’16 picked up his first all-conference recognition. Jim Berrigan was named NEWMAC Coach of the Year for the first time.
“This season we were able to sink our teeth into the NCAA Tournament a bit more than last year,” says Berrigan, who has coached the team for 15 years. “During the tournament, I was able to meet each player individually to help figure out things we were doing well and things we had to improve.”
Berrigan guided his eight-member team, with players hailing from Hong Kong, Jamaica, Spain, and the U.S., to a runner-up finish in the NEWMAC regular season and tournament, the program’s fifth-most victories in a season, and ultimately to the NCAA Tournament.
“The feeling was indescribable to say the least,” says cocaptain Ramone Doyley ’15 about the significance of the program’s first NCAA Tournament win. “For the team, it is a great confidence booster to continuously improve on our prior year achievement. It’s essential for us to use this momentum to have an even greater impact in the coming years.”
With all eight players, including five rising juniors, returning this fall, the team has much to look forward to both on and off the Farwell Courts. “There is still one box left unchecked on my bucket list,” adds Doyley, “and that’s winning the NEWMAC title.”—Scott Dietz, associate director of athletics