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MIDDLETON, MASS. – The Merrimack College men’s tennis team rallied behind five consecutive wins at No. 1-5 singles, including the match clincher at No. 3 courtesy of junior Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela), as the Warriors defeated the University of the District of Columbia from the Northeast Tennis Center on Sunday.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 7
| UDC 2
Records: Merrimack (2-4)
| UDC (3-3)
 Northeast Tennis Center | Middleton, Mass.

What They Said
Head coach Aaron Bergeron: “We came out with high energy and grit today which are two things we’ve really been working on.  I thought Vince and Miguel showed excellent leadership and intensity with a strong showing at 2 doubles to start us off.  We’re happy with how the day went but not satisfied.  There’s still plenty of work to do.”

How It Happened
The Warriors returned from their trip through Florida with their eyes set on ending a streak of four consecutive losses against the Firebirds of UDC.

Doubles play began well for the Navy and Gold, with sophomore Steven Francis (Perth, Australia) and freshman Mikhail Belov (Krasnoarmeyskoy, Russia) defeating their opposition, 8-6, at No. 1. The team-captain combination of senior Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass.) and Belfort, playing for the first time together this spring, were victorious at No. 2, 8-2, in dominant fashion.

Merrimack asserted its control during the singles portion of the contest. Francis, Belov, Belfort, Bellino and freshman Frank Vega (Lima, Peru) won their matches to cement the win. All five players won in straight sets, while Francis and Belov needed to capture their first set through a tiebreaker.

1. Steven Francis/Mikhail Belov  (MER) def. Simon Andersson/Alexis Baguelin (UDC) 8-6
2. Vince Bellino/Miguel Belfort (MER) def. Rok Bozic/Marco Feligioni  (UDC) 8-2
3. Ander Murillo/Diego Pinto (UDC) def. Frank Vega/Tayyab Sheikh  (MER) 8-9 (8)

1. Steven Francis (MER) def. Simon Andersson (UDC) 7-6 (1), 6-2
2. Mikhail Belov (MER) def. Rok Bozic (UDC) 7-6 (4), 6-2
3. Miguel Belfort (MER) def. Alexis Baguelin (UDC) 6-4, 6-2
4. Vince Bellino (MER) def. Ander Murillo (UDC) 6-0, 6-4
5. Frank Vega (MER) def. Marco Feligioni (UDC) 8-4
6. Diego Pinto (UDC) def. Tayyab Shiekh (MER) 2-8

Up Next
Merrimack is set to return to the court and return to Northeast-10 Conference play on Wednesday against Southern New Hampshire. The Warriors are also set to travel to Concordia this weekend for a 1 p.m . start on Saturday in Brookville, N.Y.

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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