NE-10 SEMIFINAL: #3 Adelphi Holds Off #2 Stonehill, 5-1

Seniors Tom Alaimo (left) and Jon Sanders posted a win at No. 2 doubles and were both in position to earn points in singles play as well.

Cannavera leads Panthers into Saturday's NE-10 Championship 

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (April 23, 2015) – Second-seeded Adelphi University, ranked seventh in this week's NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, held off third-seeded Stonehill College, ranked ninth in the region, for a 5-1 victory in semifinal round action of the 2015 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Tennis Tournament at Point Set Racquet Club this afternoon.

Adelphi (10-3, 9-1 NE-10) advances to Saturday's Northeast-10 Championship match at top-seeded Merrimack College (12-6, 10-0 NE-10) at 1 p.m. The Warriors advanced to the title match with an identical 5-1 win over fourth-seeded Bentley University (13-8, 7-3 NE-10) in today's other semifinal. Stonehill likely sees its season come to a close with a 15-6 record overall, including 8-2 NE-10, having made its 16th Conference tournament appearance.

Freshman Matteo Cannavera (Quartu Sant'Elena, Italy), the Northeast-10 Player and Rookie of the Year, led Adelphi to victory by posting wins at both No. 1 singles and doubles, the former of which clinched the winning point for the Panthers with Stonehill poised to close the gap at No. 2 and No. 3 singles. Cannavera, the 12th ranked singles player in the East Region by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, battled to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 triumph over Stonehill freshman Thomas Bellio (Saint Joseph, Michigan/Saint Joseph) at No. 1 singles for the deciding point in the dual match. Cannavera and junior Uladzislau Litvinchuk (Brest, Belarus) combined for an 8-4 win at No. 1 doubles over Bellio and freshman Nikolay Lisichenok (Danvers, Massachusetts) as the Panthers won two of three doubles matches on their way to the win.

Senior Chiwete Njokanma (Lagos, Nigeria) was also a double-winner for Adelphi by earning points at No. 4 singles and No. 3 doubles. He and junior Sebastian Zapata (Toronto, Ontario/Northview Heights) earned the Panthers second doubles win with n 8-3 triumph at No. 3 against senior Jared Drzal (West Sayville, New York/Sayville) and freshman Tom Buckley (Hebron, Connecticut/RHAM). Njokanma followed that up by breezing past Lisichenok 6-0, 6-0 in singles play. Senior Justin Vijungco (Forest Hills, New York/Forest Hills) drew the Panthers within a point of victory with his 6-3, 6-2 decision over junior Philip Klados (Lake Forest, New York/Santa Margarita Catholic) at No. 6 singles.

Seniors Tom Alaimo (North Andover, Massachusetts/Central Catholic) and Jonathan Sanders (Holbrook, New York/Saint Anthony's) earned Stonehill's point with their 8-2 win at No. 2 doubles against Vijungco and junior Sander Brenner (Port Washington, New York/Paul D. Schreiber). Alaimo led 7-5, 5-1 in his match against Litvinchuk at No. 2 singles and Drzal was in front 3-0 in the third set against Brenner when play was halted, while Sanders was in a third set battle with Zapata at No. 5 singles.

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