Men’s Tennis Downs AIC 8-1, Claims Fourth-Straight NE-10 Regular Season Title


LUDLOW, Mass. – With its 29th straight conference victory, the Merrimack College men's tennis team defeated AIC 8-1, claiming its fourth-straight consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Regular Season title Wednesday afternoon in Ludlow, Mass.

The Basics:

Score: Merrimack 8, American International 1
Records: Merrimack (11-7, 9-0 NE-10) | American International (0-8, 0-7 NE-10)
Location: Ludlow Tennis Club | Ludlow, Mass.

How it Happened

Merrimack claimed all three doubles points to hold a 3-0 lead at the beginning of singles action.

Sophomore Matt Pronesti (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and senior Chris Barnhart (Longmeadow, Mass.) captured an 8-2 win for Merrimack in the No. 1 match against Cass Schwab and Boris Tiberkov. The No. 2 duo of junior Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass.) and sophomore Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela) followed with an 8-0 win against James Worrall and Alfie Cleave. Freshman Tayyab Sheikh (Longmeadow, Mass.) and freshman Nick Majewski (Brewster, Mass.) concluded doubles play with an 8-4 victory in the No. 3 match.

In singles, the Warriors picked up five wins to secure the 8-1 victory over the Yellow Jackets.

Schwab picked up American International's lone point of the day with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Pronesti.

Belfort defeated Tiberkov, 6-0, 6-1, in the No. 2 spot while C. Barnhart swept Franceli, 6-0, 6-0. In the No. 4 match, Bellino secured the 6-2, 6-1 victory over Worall. Majewski also picked up a dominating win as he defeated Cleave, 6-0, 6-0. In the final match of the day, Sheikh came through with a 6-2, 6-0 win to seal the match.

1.Pronesti/C. Barnhart (MER) def. Schwab/Tiberkov (AIC) 8-2
2. Belfort/Bellino (MER) def. Worrall / Cleave (AIC) 8-0
3. Majewski/Sheikh (MER) def. Zoni/Franceli (AIC) 8-4

1. Schwab (AIC) def. Pronesti (MER) 6-4, 6-3
2. Belfort (MER) def. Tiberkov (AIC) 6-0, 6-1
3. C. Barnhart (MER) def. Franceli (AIC) 6-0, 6-0
4. Bellino (MER) def. Worrall (AIC) 6-2, 6-1
5. Majewski (MER) def. Cleave (AIC) 6-0, 6-0
6. Sheikh (MER) def. Zoma (AIC) 6-2, 6-0

Northeast-10 Rankings

** top six teams selected for postseason

1.Merrimack (9-0)
2. Bentley (7-1)
3. Adelphi (5-1)
4. So. New Hampshire (7-2)
5. Stonehill (5-3)
6. Le Moyne (4-5)
7. Assumption (3-4)
8. Franklin Pierce (2-6)
9. Saint Michael's (1-7)
T10. American Int'l (0-7)
T10. Saint Anselm (0-7)

A Closer Look

  • With the win, the Warriors have won 29-straight Northeast-10 Conference matches.
  • The last time the men's tennis team lost a conference match was back on April 16th, 2011, as the Warriors lost to Bentley, 5-4.
  • The Warriors earn the No. 1 seed for the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament and will have a first-round bye.

2014 Northeast-10 Men's Tennis Championship 

First Round: Tuesday, April 22
Match 1: #3 vs. #6 TBA
Match 2: #5 vs. #4 TBA

Semifinal: Thursday, April 24
Match 4: #1 vs. #5 TBA
Match 3: #3 vs. #2 TBA

Final: Saturday, April 26
Match 5: Winner of Match 3 vs. Winner of Match 4

What They Said

"I could not be more proud of this group of guys," said head coach Pete Arsenault. "They have grown a lot this season and winning our fourth straight NE-10 crown is a huge accomplishment."

Up Next
Men's tennis return to action on Saturday April 12, when the Warriors host Stonehill College in their regular season finale at North Andover High in North Andover, Mass. First serve is scheduled for 12 p.m.


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