NE-10 SEMIFINALS: #1 Merrimack Eliminates #4 Stonehill, 5-0

Freshman Thomas Alaimo was leading his singles match when play was halted.

Eppley and Toegemann lead Warriors to third championship appearance

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (April 29, 2012) – Top-seeded Merrimack College, ranked fourth in the NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, defeated fourth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked eighth in the region, 5-0 in semifinal round action of the Northeast-10 Conference Men's Tennis Tournament at North Andover High School this afternoon.

Merrimack (16-7, 11-0 NE-10), regular season champions of the NE-10, advances to the tournament championship match for the third time in program history where the Warriors seek their first tournament title in program history against second-seeded Bentley University (15-5, 10-1 NE-10) at North Andover High on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Falcons advanced with a 5-4 victory over third-seeded Southern New Hampshire University in today's other semifinal. Stonehill (15-5, 8-3 NE-10) now awaits word on a potential seventh NCAA Division II Tournament appearance when bids are announced next Tuesday.

Senior Max Eppley (Malaga, Spain) and junior Chris Toegemann (Narragansett, R.I./Bishop Hendricken) were both double-winners to lead Merrimack to the win. Eppley first teamed up with classmate Sean Pahler (Rumson, N.J./Fair Haven) for an 8-0 victory to spark the Warriors sweep of three doubles matches at No. 1. Eppley then clinched the win with his 6-1, 6-4 decision over Stonehill sophomore Nick Hyzak (Guilford, Conn./Guilford) at No. 2 singles.

Toegemann teamed up with junior Petar Golijanin (Novi Sad, Serbia) for an 8-2 win at No. 3 doubles before notching a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Stonehill sophomore Brett Armstrong (Manville, R.I./Mount Saint Charles Academy) at No. 6 singles. Sophomore Chris Barnhart (Longmeadow, Mass./Longmeadow) and freshman Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass./Andover) teamed up for an 8-2 triumph at No. 2 doubles to conclude the scoring.

Stonehill freshman Thomas Alaimo (North Andover, Mass./Central Catholic) led Bellino 7-6 (7-2), 3-2 in his match at No. 4 singles when play was halted. Classmate Eric Ringstad (Fairbanks, Alaska/Monroe Catholic) was early in a third set in his match with Barnhart at No. 1.

Merrimack 5, Stonehill 0


1. Chris Barnhart (MER) vs. Eric Ringstad (STO) 1-6, 6-3, 2-1, unfinished

2. Max Eppley (MER) def. Nick Hyzak (STO) 6-1, 6-4

3. Petar Golijanin (MER) vs. Chris Martin (STO) 6-3, 3-4, unfinished

4. Vince Bellino (MER) vs. Thomas Alaimo (STO) 6-7 (2-7), 2-3, unfinished

5. Sean Pahler (MER) vs. Aaron Bergeron (STO) 6-1, 6-6, unfinished

6. Chris Toegemann (MER) def. Brett Armstrong (STO) 6-2, 6-1


1. Eppley/Pahler (MER) def. Martin/Bergeron (STO) 8-0

2. Barnhart/Bellino (MER) def. Ringstad/Hyzak (STO) 8-2

3. Golijanin/Toegemann (MER) def. Alaimo/Armstrong (STO) 8-2

* - doubles matches played first