NORTH ANDOVER, MA- The Merrimack men's tennis team suffered a 5-2 loss to no. 2 NYIT in the second round of the NCAA Tournament East Regional on Monday afternoon at North Andover High School. The Warriors finish the season with a 15-5 overall mark, a program-low for losses in a season.
"This has been an outstanding season for this team and I am extremely proud of every player," said head coach Sean Tully. "We achieved numerous team goals this year and these six players worked very hard to win the programs second-straight Northeast-10 Title and reach the NCAA Tournament once again. I am excited for next year and we will build upon the success of this team."
The visitors captured the first two doubles matches of the afternoon before the no. 3 doubles pairing of Petar Golijanin (Novi Sad, Serbia) and Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela) turned in the impressive 9-7 victory. Matt Pronesti (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Matt Lipinski (Arlington, Mass.) dropped an 8-5 decision at the top slot. Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass.) and Chris Barnhart (Longmeadow, Mass.) absorbed an 8-5 loss at the no. 2 position.
Barnhart tied the score at two early on in singles action as he made quick work of his opponent in the no. 4 singles slot downing Filip Van Eylen 6-0, 6-2. The Bears however won three straight singles matches in order to earn the right to move on to the Sweet 16 in Surprise, Az. Tomas Lieb clinched the match for the Bears with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Belfort in the no. 1 singles position.
The Warriors competed in their sixth-straight and sixth-ever NCAA Tournament this season. Merrimack is 3-6 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches.
1. Lieb/Marcon (NYIT) def. Pronesti/Lipinski (MC) 8-5
2. Jubera/Peixoto (NYIT) def. Barnhart/Bellino (MC) 8-5|
3. Golijanin/Belfort (MC) def. Salvador/Maurtua (NYIT) 9-7
1. Tomas Lieb (NYIT) def. Miguel Belfort (MC) 6-4, 6-1
2. Mircea Dimofte (NYIT) vs. Matt Pronesti (MC) 6-4, 3-3 DNF
3. Jaime Salvador (NYIT) def. Matt Lipinski (MC) 6-0, 6-4
4. Chris Barnhart (MC) def. Flip Van Eylen (NYIT) 6-0, 6-2
5. Nicolas Jubera (NYIT) vs. Vince Bellino (MC) 6-6 (7-2), 2-2 DNF
6. Pedro Peixoto (NYIT) def. Petar Golijanin (MC) 6-0, 7-5