MELBOURNE, Fla. – Despite a 2-0 day from sophomore Frank Vega (Lima, Peru), the Merrimack College men’s tennis team lost in its final game of four in Florida, 6-3, against the Florida Institute of Technology from Fee Avenue Park.
Score: Florida Tech 6, Merrimack 3
Records: Merrimack (3-6) | Florida Tech (11-6)
Location: Fee Avenue Park | Melbourne, Fla.
How It Happened
The Warriors faced another regionally ranked opponent in their final contest in Florida, as the Panthers entered Wednesday as the ninth-ranked team in the South Region, according to the Oracle/ITA Division II Rankings.
For the first time during their Florida trip, the Navy and Gold took a lead until singles play. Senior captain Miguel Belfort(Caracas, Venezuela) and Vega returned as a combination at second doubles, and pulled out an 8-6 victory. Junior captain Nick Majewski (Brewster, Mass.) and freshman Tyler Clontz (Naples, Fla.) played together as a unit for the first time this spring, defeating their opponents by an 8-5 final.
As he did against Florida Southern on Tuesday, Vega won the Warriors’ lone singles match of the day. He took the first set by two games, 6-4, before dropping the middle frame. He roared back in the closely contested third set to take the match, 7-5.
The remaining five singles decisions all went in favor of the Panthers. Laurence Akwei (Johannesburg, South Africa) took his second set to a 12th game at fifth singles before falling, 7-5. Freshman Alex Slobin (Fairfield, Conn.) competed at No. 6 after not playing in the doubles portion of the contest.
1. Ricardo Corona / JJ Clark (FIT) def. Mikhail Belov / Laurence Akwei (MER) 8-6
2. Frank Vega / Miguel Belfort (MER) def. Aria Canadell / Tjimon Louisy (FIT) 8-6
3. Nick Majewski / Tyler Clontz (MER) def. Wade Ball / Majed Alshaikh (FIT) 8-5
1. Aria Canadell (FIT) def. Mikhail Belov (MER) 6-3, 6-1
2. Ricardo Corona (FIT) def. Nick Majewski (MER) 6-2, 6-0
3. Frank Vega (MER) def. Majed Alshaikh (FIT) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5
4. Gerard Carpinell (FIT) def. Miguel Belfort (MER) 6-4, 6-2
5. Wade Ball (FIT) def. Laurence Akwei (MER) 6-4, 7-5
6. Foresight Okungbowa (FIT) def. Alex Slobin (MER) 6-2, 6-0
The Warriors return to New England and head to Storrs, Conn. on Saturday for a matchup with Division I UConn at 11 a.m.