When and Where: April 21, 2018 – Hooksett, N.H. (SNHU Tennis Courts at Penmen Stadium)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 5, Merrimack College 2
Records: SNHU 15-6, Merrimack 14-9
Senior Tiago Fernandes (Porto, Portugal) pulled out a huge win at No. 1 singles to clinch the match and earn Most Outstanding Player of the Northeast-10 Championship, as the top-seeded Southern New Hampshire University men's tennis team defeated Merrimack College, 5-2, to earn its third straight NE10 Championship on Saturday afternoon at the SNHU Tennis Courts at Penmen Stadium.
Top-seeded Southern New Hampshire captures its fourth NE10 title – all coming in the last five years – in its sixth appearance in the championship match – all coming in the last eight seasons. It marks the first run of three straight NE10 crowns since Assumption College won nine-in-a-row from 1999-07. Second-seeded Merrimack, meanwhile, misses out on a chance to claim its fourth title in seven seasons as it falls to 3-5, lifetime, in the finals after losing to SNHU for the second straight year.
Seniors Ricardo Marreiros (Portimao, Portugal) and Miguel Marreiros (Portimao, Portugal) doubled up Alex Fedorov and Denis Davydov, 8-4, at No. 2 doubles to open the match, with graduate student Xavier Aubron (Herouville, France) and sophomore Bas van Biezen (Sassenheim, Netherlands) following with an 8-5 triumph over Mikhail Belov and Frank Vega at No. 1. Fernandes then teamed with fellow senior Jeremy Reichentahl (Cheshire, Conn.) for an 8-4 win at No. 3 against Tyler Clontz and Paul Weidinger that made it a clean sweep of doubles for the Penmen.
van Biezen kicked off singles play by cruising to a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Clontz at No. 5 to push the Warriors to the brink. Merrimack would fight back, however, getting wins at Nos. 2 and 6 to make it 4-2.
Fernandes then came through like he has all season long, as the two-time reigning NE10 Player of the Year collected a 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 win to end the match and deliver the Penmen the three-peat.
-Southern New Hampshire, which has now won 11-in-a-row, extends its NE10 winning streak, including the postseason, to 34, dating back to Oct. 15, 2015.
-Fernandes was joined on the All-Championship Team by Aubron and van Biezen.
-Fernandes, who has won 11 consecutive singles matches, moves past Mitch Dobek (2013-14) for first place in the single-season record book with 22 singles victories.
-van Biezen, who is 21-2 on the season in singles play, has won 19 of 20, including 15 straight. He pulls even with Dobek for what is now second all-time in single-season victories.
-The doubles team of Fernandes and Reichentahl has won 11-in-a-row and is 11-0 against NE10 foes this season.
- The Penmen are ranked No. 4 in the ITA East Regional rankings.
The Penmen will now wait for the NCAA Selection Show, which airs Tuesday, April 24, to see where they will head as they get set for their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance.
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