When Men’s and Women’s Head Coach Harshana Godamanna came back to the harbor campus to lead the two collegiate programs, one of his main goals was to bring home the first Little East Conference Championship to UMass Boston Women’s Tennis in program history. Not only did Godamanna deliver on that goal, he did so by taking down 11-time LEC Champions and winners of five consecutive conference titles, Rhode Island College, last weekend at home, 5-2.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Little East Conference office announced their 2022 LEC Women’s Tennis All-Conference Awards which saw Godamanna earn Coach of the Year honors after his Beacons went 11-1 defeating the Anchorwomen twice in the span of a week en route to their first LEC title. The head coach won Coach of the Year this past spring for Men’s Tennis during his first season with UMass Boston.
After earning Little East Conference Rookie of the Week four times this fall, freshman Ayra Shaikh earned Little East Conference Rookie of the Year after a stellar freshman campaign with the Beacons. Shaikh went a combined 17-2 in Singles (9-1) and Doubles (8-1) play this season with her only two losses coming against then-undefeated Roger Williams University. The Weymouth, Massachusetts native also earned First Team All Conference for Singles with that aforementioned 9-1 record.
Joining Shaikh with First Team All Conference honors for the Singles were juniors Yana Semerly and Lydia Chan. Semerly, a transfer from Assumptions University, took over the #1 spot on the depth chart for the Beacons and worked to a 5-3 record throughout the season. The Okemos, Michigan native’s three losses came against tough opponents in UMass Dartmouth junior IsaBella Winter who also was a First Team All Conference honoree and 2022 Player of the Year from Rhode Island College senior Jenna Lisi.
For Chan, her 8-1 campaign for UMass Boston in the Singles ended with her clinching the LEC title for the Beacons in the #2 Singles against junior Lauren Macera from Rhode Island College. Chan flipped between the #2 and #1 spots during the fall and similar to Shaikh, her only loss came against then-undefeated Roger Williams University on the road. Outside of that one defeat, Chan had not lost a single set in her Singles matches throughout the entire fall.
Semerly and Chan would also take home First Team All Conference honors in the Doubles category as well. As a duo, the two juniors went 6-0 during the season which included wins against Roger Williams University and UMass Dartmouth on the road in the #1 Doubles position.
Sophomore and Most Outstanding Player of the Little East Conference Tournament Elena Albano and senior Lia Vassiliadis were named to the Second Team All Conference for Singles. After going 5-5 in her freshman campaign, Albano went a near-perfect 8-1 playing primarily in the #4 Singles throughout the year, suffered her only loss at the hands of Roger Williams, and went a perfect 7-0 in conference play.
For Vassiliadis, she finished her collegiate tennis career with a 5-2 record in Singles primarily playing in the #6 Singles this fall. The three-year player ranks third all-time in program history with 51 wins in singles matches.
A duo for nearly the entire season, Albano and fellow sophomore Ayonna Stuppard were named to the Second Team All Conference for Doubles. The sophomore duo went 8-1 together, losing their only match in the regular season finale against Rhode Island College’s Erica Botelho and Serena Bobola in the #3 slot. A week later, Albano and Stuppard would avenge the loss and win a thriller against the very same duo, 8-7, in a tiebreaker comeback.
In addition to her Second Team All Conference honor, Stuppard was also named to the Little East Conference Sportsmanship Team.
Michael Vesci, Sports Information Assistant