Merrimack Tennis Falls in NE-10 Semis, Awaits NCAA Fate

ANDOVER, Mass. – The second-seeded Merrimack College men’s tennis team suffered a 5-1 loss at the hands of third-seeded Adelphi University on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Northeast-10 Championship. The Panthers advance to play either No. 1 Southern New Hampshire or No. 4 Bentley on Sunday in the NE-10 Final.

The Basics
Score:
Adelphi 5, Merrimack 1
Records:
Adelphi (11-7) | Merrimack (10-9 NE-10)
Location:
Phillips Varsity Tennis Courts | Andover, Mass.

2016 NE-10 Championship:
First Round:
Match 1: #3 Adelphi def. #6 Stonehill, 5-0
Match 2: #4 Bentley def. #5 Le Moyne, 5-1

Semifinals:
Match 3: #3 Adelphi def. #2 Merrimack, 5-1
Match 4: #4 Bentley at #1 Southern New Hampshire –2 p.m.

How It Happened
Merrimack entered the day as the sixth-ranked team in the region, with Adelphi slotting behind them at No. 7. The Warriors and Panthers met last season in the NE-10 Final, with Merrimack coming back for a 5-4 win to collect its third conference title in four years.

The Panthers came out and surged to a 1-0 advantage following an 8-2 win at third doubles. Junior Nick Majewski (Brewster, Mass.) and freshman Tyler Clontz (Naples, Fla.)faltered against Sander Brenner and Daniel Khodosh. The Panthers also prevailed at No. 1, defeating the Warriors combination of Laurence Akwei (Johannesburg, South Africa) and Mikhail Belov (Krasnoarmeyskoy, Russia).

Behind the undefeated pair of senior Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela) and sophomore Frank Vega (Lima, Peru), the Warriors salvaged one of the three doubles matchups with a 8-5 triumph, making it a 2-1 match entering singles.

The Navy and Gold held leads at fourth and fifth singles, but the Panthers’ wins at first, second and sixth gave them the victory. The final match came at No. 6, with juniorTayyab Sheikh (Longmeadow, Mass.) falling in two frames, sending the visitors on to the NE-10 Final.

Results
Doubles
1. Matteo Cannavera / Uladzislau Litvinchuk (ADE) def. Laurence Akwei / Mikhail Belov (MER) 8-4
2. Miguel Belfort / Frank Vega (MER) def. Roey Heymann / Connor Dove (ADE) 8-5
3. Sander Brenner / Daniel Khodosh (ADE) def. Tyler Clontz / Nick Majewski (MER) 8-2
Singles
1. Matteo Cannavera (ADE) def. Mikhail Belov (MER) 6-1, 6-4
2. Uladzislau Litvinchuk (ADE) def. Nick Majewski (MER) 6-3, 6-2
3. Frank Vega  (MER) vs. Sander Brenner (ADE) unfinished
4. Miguel Belfort (MER) vs. Sebastian Zapata (ADE) unfinished
5. Laurence Akwei  (MER) vs. Roey Heymann (ADE) unfinished
6. Daniel Khodosh (ADE) def. Tayyab Sheikh (MER) 6-2, 6-1

Up Next
The Warriors await their NCAA Tournament fate.  The program is in line for its ninth consecutive trip to the national tournament. The selection show is Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. and can be watched here.

About Mike McMahon 6296 Articles
Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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