Men’s Tennis Earns Seven All-Conference Nods, Arsenault Named Coach of the Year


NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College men's tennis team placed seven athletes on the 2013 Northeast-10 All-Conference teams, as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon. Also, first year head coach Peter Arsenault was named Men's tennis Coach of the Year.

In his first season with Merrimack, Peter Arsenault helped lead the Warriors to its fourth-straight consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Regular Season title. Arsenault led the team to a 12-7 overall record including a perfect 10-0 record in the NE-10 conference.

"I feel deeply honored to receive this award on behalf of the assistant coaches, captains, players, and former players who have been the backbone of our success so far this season," said head coach Peter Arsenault.  "Their commitment to improve our tennis program and how honorably they represent Merrimack College is something that should be commended."

Sophomore Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela), senior Chris Barnhart (Longmeadow, Mass.) and junior Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass.) led the way with a First Team selection for No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively.  The trio each finished the season with an undefeated conference record of 9-0 while Belfort ranks 16th in singles in the East Regional Team Rankings.

The top duo of C. Barnhart and sophomore Matt Pronesti (Mission Viejo, Calif.) earned first team all-conference accolades in No. 1 doubles. C. Barnhart and Pronesti closed out the regular season going 10-0 in No. 1 doubles. Along with the conference accolades, the duo currently ranks fourth in doubles in the East Regional Team Rankings.

Freshman duo James Barnhart (Longmeadow, Mass.) and Nick Majewski (Brewster, Mass.) also earned first team all-conference accolades in No. 3 doubles while finishing the regular season with an overall record of 5-1 in conference play.

Pronesti, Majewski and freshman Tayyab Sheikh (Longmeadow, Mass.) earned Second Team selection for No. 1, No. 5 and No. 6 singles, respectively. Pronesti compiled a conference record of 8-2 while earning second team in No. 2 doubles along with fellow teammate Belfort. Majewski finished his freshman campaign with 7-1 conference record while Shiekh finished with a 5-1 conference record.

J. Barnhart was also named to the Northeast-10 All-Rookie Team for his performance this season. J. Barnhart finished the season for the Warriors with an overall conference mark of 7-1 while compiling a 3-0 conference mark in No. 5 singles.

"I am extremely proud of the effort and commitment our men's team has put into going undefeated once again in the NE-10 regular season. The success they have been able to achieve this season despite the adversity they have faced in losing one of our beloved teammates in the fall and the challenges they have faced in playing against competitors who aspire to end their three year winning streak has been no small task," said head coach Peter Arsenault. "Their commitment to excellence has been inspired by our Captain, Chris Barnhart, who models the heart and dedication needed of a champion.  With him as our leader, I have immense confidence that our men's team will compete hard in our quest to win a third consecutive NE-10 Championship."

Merrimack finished with a perfect 10-0 record this season, earning their fourth straight NE-10 Regular season crown, and finished 9-0 last season. Currently, the team ranks fifth in the East Region Rankings in front of Southern New Hampshire (7), Bentley (8), Stonehill (9) and Adelphi (10).

The Warriors will be the #1 seed in the upcoming NE-10 Championships and they will host the winner of #5 Stonehill at #4 Adelphi on Thursday at 2 p.m. at North Andover High School. If weather becomes a factor, the match will be moved to the Northeast Tennis Courts in Middleton, Mass.


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