FLUSHING, N.Y. -- Down 2-1 after doubles, Merrimack rallied to post a 5-3 victory against fourth-seeded Southern New Hampshire in the first round of the NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Championship East Regional on Monday morning at the National Tennis Center. The Warriors will advance to face top-seeded and host Concordia (N.Y.) on Tuesday morning.
Southern New Hampshire began the match with two victories in doubles play as Mitch Dobek and Mike Wallace earned an 8-5 victory against Matt Pronesti and Chris Barnhart in No. 1 doubles.
Sophomore Miguel Belfort and Vince Bellino fell to Juan Arango-Campo and Alex Mukdaprakorn in No. 2 doubles 8-2. Shortly thereafter, freshman duo James Barnhart and Nick Majewski was victorious versus Mark Dobek and Evan Eaton in the No. 3 match 8-2.
Holding a 2-1 lead into singles action, Southern New Hampshire extended its lead two (3-1) after Mitch Dobek defeated Pronesti in No. 1 singles 6-3 and 6-1. However, the Warriors would come back to post wins at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 singles to advance them to the next round.
Following the loss, Belfort battled back and picked up the 7-5, 6-1 victory against Arango-Campo in the No. 2 match, while Bellino tied the match at three as he prevailed in No. 4 singles with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 win versus Mukaprakorn.
With the match tied at three, Merrimack pushed ahead by one as J. Barnhart defeated Mark Dobek 6-2, 6-3 in No. 5 singles. In the final match of the afternoon, Majewski clinched the Warriors' victory with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Brad Malenich in No. 6 singles.