MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – In a battle of ranked men's tennis teams, No. 28 MIT fell at No. 7 Middlebury College by a final of 6-3 in the regular season finale for the Engineers. The difference in the match came in doubles, where the Panthers were able to win all three matches, accounting for their final margin of victory.
MIT (13-4), which saw its eight-match win streak snapped, came close to picking up a point in the doubles competition in the No. 1 match. There the Engineers' team of junior Matthew Skalak (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) and sophomore Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) battled the Middlebury (12-4) duo of Branter Jones and Spencer Lunghino in a closely contested match that went to the Panthers' duo by a 9-8 score.
Zhang and Jones battled it out in the No. 1 match in singles play, and this time it was Zhang that came out the winner, holding off his opponent in the first set on his way to a 7-6, 6-2 win. Sophomore Curtis Wu (Yorba Linda, Calif.) turned in a fine performance for MIT in the No. 4 match, turning in a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Lunghino. Also taking home a win for the Engineers was junior Tymor Hamamasy (New York, N.Y.), who scored a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 decision over Peter Heidrich.
A split of the singles matches was the best MIT could do, however, as Middlebury won the Nos. 2, 3, and 5 matches in straight sets to clinch the team victory.
MIT, which earned the #1 seed in this weekend's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference championship by finishing with a perfect 5-0 league record, will host the event on Saturday and Sunday. The Engineers will take on #4 seed Springfield College at Noon on Saturday.