| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

Photo courtesy of AUPanthers.com

The Adelphi Panthers defended its Northeast-10 (NE-10) Conference title earlier this week, downing Stonehill College 5-4 to win its second straight NE-10 championship.

This title run was a bit different than last year’s. The 2015 Panthers entered the conference tournament as the regular season champions and top-seed, but were the sixth-seed in this year’s tournament. But the Panthers built off of their championship experience to down the number two and three seeds on the way to the finals, culminating in the victory over the top-seeded Stonehill Skyhawks in the title match.

Adelphi trailed 4-3 with two singles matches left to be played, and Rebecca Fakas at first singles and Karen Serina came up huge for the Panthers.

Fakas defeated Stonehill’s Victoria Barbetta 6-4, 7-6(7) in the top singles flight, and Serina clinched the title for Adelphi, fighting back from a set down to beat Carolina Alvarez 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

“If there is anything we teach on the court at Adelphi, it is to leave our hearts out on the court,” Adelphi head coach Joanna Haich told AUPanthers.com. “From a great playoff week on the road, winning the title today for the women was just icing on the cake. We had a tough season but hard work, conviction and fight from all the players is what got them to call themselves champions once more. Win or lose, however, I can't be more proud to work with these great players. Now, we're looking forward to a few days off and heading into the NCAA Tournament in the spring."

Fakas was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Below are the full results from the final: