Fifth-Seeded Stonehill Heads to #4 Adelphi for NE-10 First Round Clash

Senior Nick Hyzak will play at No. 1 singles and No. 3 doubles for Stonehill in tomorrow's first round clash with Adelphi.

Skyhawks make 15th NE-10 Tournament appearance 

EASTON, Mass. (April 21, 2014) – Fifth-seeded Stonehill College, ranked ninth in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Division II East Regional rankings, opens postseason play with a first round clash with fourth-seeded Adelphi University, ranked tenth in the ITA Regional rankings but fifth in the NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, as the 2014 Northeast-10 Conference Tournament gets underway tomorrow at the Adelphi Tennis Courts in Garden City, N.Y., at 2 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the match will be played indoors at Port Washington Tennis Center at the same time.

Stonehill (12-8, 6-4 NE-10) is making its 15th appearance in the NE-10 Tournament, having captured one championship in 2009 and reaching the championship match twice overall. Adelphi (10-6, 8-2 NE-10) is making its fifth-straight NE-10 tournament appearance since joining the Conference prior to the 2009-10 season. The winner of Tuesday's first round matchup will advance to Thursday's semifinal round to face top-seeded Merrimack College (12-7, 10-0 NE-10), ranked fourth in the NCAA East Regional rankings and fifth in the ITA regional rankings, at North Andover High School at 2 p.m. The NE-10 Championship will be hosted by the top remaining seed on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Stonehill, under the direction of head coach Peter Miller, '75, who has posted a 301-223 (.574) record in his 34 seasons at the helm of his alma mater, is led by a balanced lineup top to bottom. The Skyhawks enter the postseason winners of three of their last four overall, but just two wins over their last six Northeast-10 matches.

Seniors Nick Hyzak (Guilford, Conn./Guilford) and Brett Armstrong (Manville, R.I./Mount Saint Charles Academy) provide leadership for Stonehill having been part of four postseason trips with the Skyhawks. Hyzak is a combined 25-17 in singles and doubles play this season and has won a combined 122 matches over his career. He and junior Jared Drzal (West Sayville, N.Y./Sayville), who have earned All-Northeast-10 third team honors at No. 3 doubles this season have posted a 12-6 record this season, including 7-2 in NE-10 play. Hyzak has gone 10-10 at No. 1 singles for the Skyhawks, including 5-5 in league play.

Senior Brett Armstrong will be in the Skyhawks lineup on Tuesday at Adelphi.

Armstrong, who has won a combined 109 matches over his career, is 21-21 in singles and doubles play this season. He is 11-9 in singles play, including 6-4 in NE-10 play, seeing time at No. 3, 4 and 5 over the course of the year. Armstrong and junior Eric Ringstad (Fairbanks, Alaska/Monroe Catholic) have teamed up at No. 1 doubles for the Skyhawks this season and are 10-12 overall, including 4-6 in the NE-10.

Drzal is an All-Northeast-10 performer for Stonehill at No. 3 doubles with Hyzak, but also No. 6 singles this season. He is a combined 31-10 in singles and doubles play this year, posting a 15-4 singles mark, including an 8-2 mark in the NE-10, to go with his 12-6 doubles record with Hyzak. Ringstad is also a third team All-Conference performer this season at No. 2 singles. He is a combined 22-20 in singles and doubles play this year, posting a 12-8 singles mark, including 6-4 in league play.

Junior Tom Alaimo (North Andover, Mass./Central Catholic) has added strength in the middle of the Stonehill lineup since returning from injury for the second semester. He is a combined 23-7 in singles and doubles play, posting a 12-3 singles clip with a 4-2 mark in the NE-10 at No. 4, while combining with junior Jon Sanders (Holbrook, N.Y./St. Anthony's) for an 11-4 doubles mark, including 3-3 in Conference play. Sophomore Philip Klados (Lake Forest, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic) rounds out the Skyhawks lineup at No. 3 singles.

Adelphi enters the postseason winners of five of its last six after a 9-0 win at Franklin Pierce University to close out the regular season on Saturday. The Panthers came out on the short end of a three-way tiebreaker with second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University (16-5, 8-2 NE-10) and third-seeded Bentley University (10-7, 8-2 NE-10) that came down to combined match scores between the three.

Junior Tom Alaimo is a combined 23-7 in singles and double play for the Skyhawks this season.

Sophomore Uladzislau Litvinchuk (Brest, Belarus) has earned first team All-Northeast-10 honors for Adelphi at No. 5 singles and No. 2 doubles with classmate Sander Brenner (Port Washington, N.Y./Paul D. Schreiber). Litvinchuk, also an NE-10 All-Rookie team selection, is a combined 23-7 in singles and doubles play this season, posting a 12-2 overall singles record, including 8-0 in NE-10 play, while he and Brenner are 11-4 overall, including an 8-1 NE-10 mark. Brenner competes at No. 1 singles for the Panthers.

Junior Chiwete Njokanma (Lagos, Nigeria), a second team All-Conference performer at No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles with classmate Justin Vijungco (Forest Hills, N.Y./Forest Hills), is a combined 21-9 in singles and doubles play this season. He and Vijungco have posted a 10-3 doubles mark, including 7-2 in league play, while Njokanma has an 11-3 singles record, including 8-0 against NE-10 opposition. Vijungco, a first team All-NE-10 performer at No. 6 singles, is 12-3 this season, including a 9-0 NE-10 mark.

Tomorrow marks the fourth-straight year Stonehill and Adelphi have met in the first round of the NE-10 Tournament, the second at Adelphi after two-straight years at Charles Watt Courts on the Stonehill campus. The Panthers posted their first postseason victory over the Skyhawks with a 5-2 decision in Easton last spring after Stonehill was victorious in 2011 and 2012. Adelphi posted a 6-3 victory against Stonehill on Long Island in their regular season encounter back on April 5.

Litvinchuk and Njokanma led Adelphi past Stonehill in their regular season encounter. Litvinchuk and Brenner combined for an 8-5 win over Alaimo and Sanders at No. 2 doubles, while Njokanma and Vijungco collected an 8-4 win at No. 3 against Hyzak and Drzal. Litvinchuk followed by rallying for a 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) win over Alaimo at No. 4 singles, while Njokanma recorded a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) win over Armstrong at No. 5. After the Panthers swept the three doubles matches to key the win, Stonehill earned wins at the top three singles flights. Hyzak defeated Brenner in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 at No. 1, while Ringstad led junior Ryan Villarruel (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Peter's Boys) 6-0, 3-0 at No. 2 when Villarruel retired due to injury. Klados topped sophomore Sebastian Zapata (Toronto, Ontario/Northview Heights) 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3. 

2014 Northeast-10 Conference
Men's Tennis Championship

First Round
Tuesday, April 22 (at higher seeds)

#5 Stonehill (12-8, 6-4 NE-10) at #4 Adelphi (10-6, 8-2 NE-10), 2 p.m.
#6 Assumption (9-7, 5-5 NE-10) at #3 Bentley (10-7, 8-2 NE-10), 2 p.m.

Thursday, April 24 (at higher seeds)
Assumption/Bentley winner at #2 Southern New Hampshire (16-5, 8-2 NE-10), 2 p.m.
Stonehill/Adelphi winner at #1 Merrimack (12-7, 10-0 NE-10), 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 26 (at highest remaining seed)
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

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