WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – It was an early 8:30 a.m. start, but it did not seem to faze the No. 29 ranked MIT men's tennis team this morning in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Championship. The Engineer's moved on to the third round of the tournament with a 5-1 decision over the Stevens Institute of Technology. Freshman Eugene Oh (Alpharetta, Ga.) picked up the deciding singles win for MIT, which will advance to the regional final of the tournament tomorrow.
MIT (16-4) scored the first point of the day in the doubles competition. The No. 3 team of Oh and junior Tymor Hamamasy (New York, N.Y.) had little trouble picking up the win in their match with Derek Smith and Daniel Szwarc, taking an 8-2 victory to put the first point on the board for the Engineers. MIT made it 2-0 as the No. 1 team of junior Matthew Skalak (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) and sophomore Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) scored an 8-4 win in their match over the pairing of Chris Rosensteel and Shota Tasaki.
In what was the match of the day at No. 3 doubles, the Stevens (12-8) duo of Andrew Riggs and Nicholas Rosasco moved out to what seemed a comfortable 6-2 lead in their match with junior Larry Pang (Torrance, Calif.) and sophomore Curtis Wu (Yorba Linda, Calif.). The Engineers battled back, however, winning four straight games to tie the match at 6-6. The Ducks then broke the MIT serve at that point, shifting the momentum back in their favor as they went on to take an 8-6 win.
In singles play Skalak and Hamamasy quickly moved the momentum in the match back to the Engineers' favor with straights sets wins at the bottom of the singles flights to move MIT to within a point of the victory. Playing at No. 6, Skalak wasted no time in making the score 3-1 in MIT's favor with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Szwarc. Hamamasy was nearly as good, moving MIT to the brink of the team victory with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 5 over Smith.
Oh then finished off the Ducks at No. 3 singles. Playing against Tasaki, he clinched the MIT victory with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph that moved the Engineers on to the next round. The final three singles matches had all gone to a third set, with MIT leading in two of them when Oh finished off the match with his win.
MIT will take on the winner of the other regional match between host Williams College and Drew University tomorrow at Noon.