April 13, 2013

Men’s Tennis Downs Stonehill 8-1; Captures Third-Straight NE-10 Title

NORTH EASTON, MA – With an 8-1 win at Stonehill, the Merrimack men's tennis team claimed its third-consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Regular Season title Saturday afternoon. The Warriors rise to 11-4 on the year and 9-0 in league matches. The Skyhawks fall to 15-8 overall and 6-3 in the Northeast-10 with the loss.

"I could not be more proud of this group of guys," said head coach Sean Tully. "They have grown a lot this season and winning our third straight NE-10 crown is a huge accomplishment. The program is heading in the right direction and I cannot wait to see what the rest of this season brings us."

The Warriors earned the no. 1 seed for the northeast-10 Conference Tournament and will have a first-round bye.

The Warriors dominated doubles action on Saturday, taking the 3-0. The top pairing of Matt Pronesti (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Matt Lipinski (Arlington, Mass.) posted a 8-4 victory while in no. 2 doubles action, Chris Barnhart (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass.) downed their opponents 8-5. Merrimack's third pairing of Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela) and Petar Golijanin (Novi Sad, Serbia) had to battle for their 9-7 victory.

The Warriors put their opponents away in singles action, picking up five of a possible six points. Pronesti prevailed 6-2, 6-2 at the no. 2 slot  while Belfort won a three-set thriller at the no. 1 spot. Belfort claimed the first 6-3 before falling 3-6 in the second and capturing the third with a 6-1 result.

Barnhart also earned a three-set victory at the no. 3 position. He won the first set 7-6, lost the second 5-7 and prevailed 6-2 in the third and decisive set. Bellino dominated in the no. 4 slot as he earned the 6-1, 6-4 victory while Mark Mallory (Portland, OR) earned the three-set victory by the score of 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).

Merrimack will cap off their regular season with two non conference matches as they will play Hartford on Sunday and Bryant on  Monday.

Singles:

1. Miguel Belfort (MER) def. Eric Ringstad (STO) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
2. Matt Pronesti (MER) def. Nick Hyzak (STO) 6-2, 6-2
3. Chris Barnhart (MER) def. Thomas Alaimo (STO) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2
4. Vince Bellino (MER) def. Philip Klados (STO) 6-1, 6-4
5. Chris Martin (STO) def. Peter Golijanin (MER) 6-4, 6-2
6. Mark Mallory (MER) def. Brett Armstrong (STO) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) 

Doubles:

1. Pronesti/Lipinski (MER) def. Ringstad/Martin (STO) 8-4

2. Barnhart/Bellino (MER) def. Hyzak/Alaimo (STO) 8-5

3. Belfort/Golijanin (MER) def. Klados/Armstrong (STO) 9-7