CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT took the first step towards defending its New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference men's tennis title with a 5-0 win over Springfield College today in a semifinal match of the 2012 NEWMAC Tournament. MIT improved to 14-4 with the victory while Springfield fell to 8-8 on the season.
MIT took control of the match early on with wins in all three doubles matches. The Engineers' No. 3 team of seniors Robert Wheeler (Denton, Texas) and Biafra Ahanonu (Tucson, Ariz.) scored the first point of the day, taking an 8-0 win over senior Zach O'Leary (Westboro, Mass.) and sophomore Joe Giannelli (Watertown, Conn.). At No. 2 the MIT pairing of sophomore Curtis Wu (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and junior Larry Pang (Torrance, Calif.) won 8-4 over senior Doug Nickerson (Falmouth, Maine) and junior Jesse Boyd (Bolton, Conn.). MIT made it a clean sweep in a spirited No. 1 doubles match where the team of junior Matthew Skalak (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) and sophomore Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) defeated the Springfield team of freshman Kyle Mersereau (Brunswick, Maine) and junior Benjamin Burnap (Westerly, R.I.), 8-5.
Needing just two points to win the match, the Engineers got them in the first two singles matches decided to take the win. At No. 4 junior Tymor Hamamasy (New York, N.Y.) downed Nickerson, 6-3, 6-1 to put the Engineers up 4-0. Zhang then clinched the match for MIT, defeating Mersereau by the same 6-3, 6-1 score. With the outcome of the match determined, the final four singles contests were not finished.
MIT will play the winner of the Clark/Coast Guard match tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. on the duPont Tennis Courts for the NEWMAC Championship.