Newman (left) and Bellio have been solid at No. 1 doubles this season, knocking off two regionally-ranked pairings this season, including Le Moyne's top duo.
Skyhawks and Dolphins to meet for second time in seven days on Tuesday
EASTON, Mass. (April 16, 2018) – Sixth-seeded Stonehill College returns to the Northeast-10 Conference men's tennis tournament after a one year hiatus and will visit third-seeded Le Moyne College, ranked seventh in the NCAA Division II East Regional rankings and No. 8 in the most recent Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) East Region rankings, for a first round match at Elevate Fitness Club in Dewitt, New York, on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.
Stonehill (10-8, 4-5 NE-10) returns to the NE10 Tournament after a one-year hiatus to make its Conference record matching 18th postseason appearance. The Skyhawks were the only program to participate in all 17 NE10 Tournaments since the Conference adopted the current dual match format in 2000, prior to missing last year's event by way of a head-to-head tiebreaker. Stonehill has reached in the semifinal round nine times under the dual match format, winning the NE10 Championship in 2009, while making the championship match in 2008 as well. Le Moyne (12-4, 7-2 NE10) is in the NE10 Tournament for the 12th time and still seeks its first postseason victory.
The winner of tomorrow's match will advance to Thursday's semifinal round at second-seeded Merrimack College (13-8, 8-1 NE10), ranked fourth in the NCAA East Regional rankings, at 2 p.m. The Warriors, along with top-seeded and regular season champions Southern New Hampshire University (13-6, 9-0 NE10) earned a first round bye in the tournament. Fifth-seeded Bentley University (14-9, 5-4 NE10) visits fourth-seeded Franklin Pierce University (10-10, 5-4 NE10) in tomorrow's other first round matchup. The NE10 Championship match will be played Saturday, April 21, at the site of the highest remaining seed at 1 p.m.
Lisichenok is a combined 14-9 in singles and doubles play this season.
Stonehill, under the direction of Hall of Fame head coach Peter Miller, '75, who has posted a 341-257 (.570) record over his 37 seasons at the helm of his alma mater, finished tied with Adelphi University (4-9, 4-5 NE10) in the NE10 standings, but clinched the final spot in the NE10 Tournament with their 7-2 victory over the Panthers on April 3. The Skyhawks lineup includes three seniors, a sophomore and two freshmen. Seniors Thomas Bellio (Saint Joseph, Michigan/Saint Joseph), Tom Buckley (Hebron, Connecticut/RHAM) and Nikolay Lisichenok (Danvers, Massachusetts/Danvers), as well as classmate Jeffrey Gagnon (Providence, Rhode Island/The Wheeler School), provide leadership for the Skyhawks in their final collegiate season.
Buckley and Lisichenok have teamed up to post a 6-1 record in doubles play this spring, including a 5-0 mark in NE10 play, with four of those wins coming at No. 3 doubles. Lisichenok has also posted a 5-4 singles record, including 3-4 in the NE10, with a 4-2 record at No. 5 singles. Buckley is 3-3 in the NE10 this spring, posting a 2-2 record at No. 6. Lisichenok has posted a combined record of 79-66 in singles and doubles play over his career, including a 37-33 mark in NE10 matches, posting a 48-33 doubles record. Buckley is a combined 73-68 over his career in singles and doubles play, including 33-29 in the NE10, with a 50-38 doubles record.
Bellio and freshman Trent Newman (Old Greenwich, Connecticut/South Burlington) have provided Stonehill with a formidable option at No. 1 doubles this spring. The duo are 11-3 this overall, including 4-3 in the NE10, with a 2-1 record against regionally-ranked doubles teams. Bellio also holds down the No. 1 singles spot for the Skyhawks, having been named the NE10 Player of the Week once this spring, while Newman is 9-9 in singles play in his first collegiate season, including a 4-3 mark in the NE10. He has earned NE10 Rookie of the Week twice and co-Player of the Week once in his first collegiate season. Bellio enters postseason play with an 88-62 combined record in singles and doubles play over his career, including a 56-27 career doubles mark, having played at No. 1 singles and doubles his entire career.
Freshman Russell White (Toronto, Ontario/Saddlebrook Prep (Fla.)), a two-time NE10 Rookie of the Week and a co-Player of the Week once, has posted a 21-14 combined record in singles and doubles play this season, including 6-6 in the NE10. He is 10-6 in singles play, including 4-2 in the NE10, with an 8-3 mark at No. 3 singles. Sophomore Manu Ravichandrakumar (Chennai, India/Saddlebrook Prep (Fla.)) is a combined 20-20 in singles and doubles play this season after being named to the NE10 All-Rookie Team as a freshman. Ravichandrakumar and White have teamed up to post an 8-6 doubles record this season at the No. 2 position.
Buckley and Lisichenok are 6-1 in doubles play for the Skyhawks this season.
Le Moyne enters the postseason winners of nine straight, including its 8-1 win over Stonehill last Wednesday. The Dolphins are led by regionally-ranked sophomore Philip Blythe (Edinburgh, Scotland) and the regionally-ranked doubles tandem of Blythe and senior Hallam Doney (Andover, England). Blythe, ranked 14th in the most recent Oracle/ITA East Region singles rankings, has posted a 12-9 singles record, including 5-3 in the NE10. He and Doney are ranked fifth in the Oracle/ITA East Region doubles rankings with a 15-6 doubles record, including 6-2 in the NE10. Doney is also 11-6 in singles play, including 5-2 in the NE10.
Senior Jason Barton (Lima, Ohio/Shawnee) and junior Andres Hernandez (Monterrey, Mexico) have combined for a 16-5 record at No. 2 doubles this season, including 7-2 in the NE10. Hernandez is also 15-6 in singles play, including 9-6 at No. 2, with a 6-3 NE10 mark, while Barton has posted a 13-8 singles record, including 9-5 at No. 4, with a 7-2 clip in the NE10. Juniors Xavier Graells (Castellar del Vallès, Spain) and Tyler Underwood (Minoa, New York/East Syracuse-Minoa) are unbeaten at No. 3 doubles for the Dolphins, posting an 11-0 record at the flight, including 9-0 in the NE10, for a 13-1 record as a tandem overall this season. Graells is also 8-2 at No. 3 singles, including 7-2 in the NE10, for an overall singles record of 13-3.
Barton, Hernandez and Graells led Le Moyne to its 8-1 win over Stonehill in Syracuse last week as double-winners. Barton and Hernandez teamed up for an 8-5 win at No. 2 doubles and then Hernandez provided the match clinching point by battling back from a set down against Newman for a 1-6, 6-3, 10-3 triumph at No. 2 singles. Barton cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 4 singles against Ravichandrakumar, while Graells and Underwood combined to clinch a 2-1 edge for Le Moyne following doubles play with their 8-5 win at No. 3. Graells followed that up with a 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 win at No. 3 singles against White, while Underwood was also a double-winner for the Dolphins with his straight sets win at No. 6 singles.
Newman and Bellio knocked off regionally-ranked Blythe and Doney at No. 1 doubles to provide a point for Stonehill with their 9-7 triumph.
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2018 Northeast-10 Conference
Men's Tennis Championship
Tuesday, April 17 (at higher seeds)
Match 1: #6 Stonehill (10-8, 4-5 NE10) at #3 Le Moyne (12-4, 7-2 NE10), 12:30 p.m.
Match 2: #5 Bentley (14-9, 5-4 NE10) at #4 Franklin Pierce (10-10, 5-4), 2 p.m.
Thursday, April 19 (at higher seeds)
Match 3: Winner of Match 1 at #2 Merrimack (13-8, 8-1 NE10), 2 p.m.
Match 4: Winner of Match 2 at #1 Southern New Hampshire (13-6, 9-0 NE10), 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 (at highest remaining seed)
Match 5: Match 3 Winner vs. Match 4 Winner 1:00 p.m.