MTEN: Merrimack Moves Past Bentley, Will Host NE-10 Finals Sunday

MIDDLETON, MASS. – The Merrimack College men’s tennis team made quick work of the visiting Bentley Falcons in the Northeast-10 Conference Semifinals at the Northeast Tennis Center, as the Warriors defeated the Falcons, 5-1, to advance to the NE-10 Final for the fourth consecutive season.

Links: Box Score | Steven Francis Interview

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 5
| Bentley 1
Records: Merrimack (12-6)
| Bentley (13-8)
Northeast Tennis Center | Middleton, Mass.

2015 NE-10 Championship
Tuesday, April 21 – First Round
Match 1: #3 Stonehill def. #6 Le Moyne, 5-1
Match 2: #4 Bentley def. #5 Assumption, 5-4

Thursday, April 23 – Semifinals
Match 3: #2 Adelphi def. #3 Stonehill, 5-1
Match 4:#1 Merrimack def. #4 Bentley, 5-1

Saturday, April 25 – Finals
Match 5: #2 Adelphi vs. #1 Merrimack – 1:00 p.m.

How It Happened
The Warriors opened up the conference tournament with a familiar opponent, as Merrimack and Bentley played five days ago in the regular-season finale out in Waltham.

The doubles results played out exactly how the first meeting went. The Navy and Gold won at No. 1 and No. 3 as sophomore Steven Francis (Perth, Australia) and freshmanMikhail Belov (Krasnoarmeyskoy, Russia) prevailed by an identical score as the first meeting, 8-4. Sophomore Nick Majewski (Brewster, Mass.) and freshman Frank Vega(Lima, Peru), both first team all-conference selections, won easily at No. 3, 8-0.

The Falcons rolled out the best No. 2 pair in the league in Brendan McCarthy and George Samander, as the combination was named to all-conference first team. Senior Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass.) and junior Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela) battled tough, but fell by five points, 8-3.

Merrimack needed to win three matches during singles to secure the victory. No. 5 concluded first, with Vega defeating his opponent by set scores of 6-1 and 6-0. Francis followed at No. 1 with a straight-set win, including blanking his opponent in the final frame. It appeared that Bellino would take the clincher at No. 4, but Belov stormed through his final set, winning 6-4 and 6-2 at No. 3, to take the fifth and deciding point for the Warriors.

The Warriors and the Panthers will meet up in the postseason for the first time since last season’s semifinal, which Merrimack won by a score of 5-1.

1. Steven Francis/Mikhail Belov  (MER) def. Alex DeMuth/Kamil Pilch (BEN) 8-4
2. Brendan McCarthy/George Samander (BEN) def. Vince Bellino/Miguel Belfort (MER) 8-3
3. Frank Vega/Nick Majewski (MER) def. Chase Rosa/Sam Frye (BEN) 8-0

1. Steven Francis (MER) def. Kamil Pilch (BEN) 6-2, 6-0
2. Miguel Belfort (MER) vs. Brendan McCarthy (BEN) 6-3, 4-2 (unfinished)
3. Mikhail Belov (MER) def. George Samander  (BEN) 6-4, 6-2
4. Vince Bellino (MER) vs. Chase Rosa (BEN) 6-1, 4-5 (unfinished)
5. Frank Vega (MER) def. Daniel Camacho  (BEN) 6-1, 6-0
6. Nick Majewski (MER) vs. Evan Chomka (BEN) unfinished

Up Next
The Warriors will play in the NE-10 Final on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. against second-seeded Adelphi. With a victory, the Navy and Gold will win its third NE-10 Championship in the past four years. The match is scheduled to be played at North Andover High School.

About the Author

Mike McMahon
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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