NORTH ANDOVER, MA- The Merrimack men's tennis team secured a spot in the title tilt of the Northeast-10 Championship with a 5-0 victory over Stonehill in the semifinals Thursday afternoon. The Warriors rise to 16-7 overall while the Skyhawks slide to 15-5 on the year.
Merrimack will seek to claim its first-ever Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Championship as it takes on Bentley in the finals Saturday, April 21.
"We played very well today, especially in the three doubles matches," said head coach Sean Tully. "I am very proud of the way this team competed today and all year long."
The Warriors swept the three doubles points to hold a 3-0 lead in the race to five.
Merrimack's top pair of Max Eppley (Malaga, Spain) and Sean Pahler (Rumson, NJ) coasted to an 8-0 win. Chris Barnhart (Longmeadow, MA) and Vince Bellino (Amesbury, MA) picked up an 8-2 victory at the No. 2 position. Petar Golijanin (Novi Sad, Serbia) and Chris Toegemann (Narragansett, RI) posted an 8-2 win at the third slot.
The Warriors captured two singles victories to cap off the semifinal match with a 5-0 result. Toegemann grabbed a 6-1, 6-2 win at the No. 6 spot. Eppley prevailed 6-1, 6-4 at the second position to clinch the victory.
At the No. 1 slot, Barnhart was locked in a three-set battle when the match was halted. The sophomore dropped the first set 6-1 before earning a 6-3 victory in set two and leading 2-1 in the third frame.
Golijanin and Pahler were each up a set at the third and fifth spots, respectively, while Bellino trailed at the No. 4 slot when the match was suspended.
1. Eppley/Pahler (MER) def. Bergeron/Martin (STO) 8-0
2. Barnhart/Bellino (MER) def. Hyzak/Ringstad (STO) 8-2
3. Golijanin/Toegemann (MER) def. Alaimo/Armstrong (STO) 8-2
1. Barnhart (MER) vs. Ringstad (STO) 1-6, 6-3, 2-1, unfinished
2. Eppley (MER) def. Hyzak (STO) 6-1, 6-4
3. Golijanin (MER) vs. Martin (STO) 6-3, 3-4, unfinished
4. Bellino (MER) vs. Alaimo (STO) 6-7, 2-3, unfinished
5. Pahler (MER) vs. Bergeron (STO) 6-1, 6-6, unfinished
6. Toegemann (MER) def. Armstrong (STO) 6-2, 6-1