Strong Start Leads Top-Seeded Women's Tennis Past Wheaton in NEWMAC Semifinals

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot

THE BASICS:

- Location: Cambridge, Mass. (J.B. Carr Tennis Bubble)

- Score: No. 1 MIT 5, No. 5 Wheaton College 0

- Records: No. 1 MIT (15-3); No. 5 Wheaton College (7-10)

- The Lead: Sophomore Marina Zhang (Garnet Valley, Pa.) clinched the final point for No. 1 seeded MIT as the No. 19 ranked Engineers defeated fifth-seeded Wheaton College by a 5-0 final to advance to the 2019 NEWMAC Championship. The Engineers are now 35-14 all-time vs. the Lyons and 5-0 in the postseason.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- MIT came out strong in doubles and swept beginning with a convincing 8-2 win at No. 3 by junior captain Lara Rakocevic (Portland, Maine) and first-year Ashley Teng (Tustin, Calif.). After an 8-3 victory at No. 2, the MIT No. 1 doubles team of sophomore Libby Rickeman (Wayzata, Minn.) and first-year Viktoriya Tabunshchyk (Ancaster, Canada) picked up an 8-4 victory over Ines de Bracamonte and Isabelle Garvanne for the 3-0 team lead.

- In singles, Tabunshchyk defeated Garvanne by a 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2, followed by the 6-2, 6-2 win for Zhang at No. 3 as she downed Miriam Galindo Cerrada.

- At No. 1, de Bracamonte took a 6-4 first set from MIT's Rickeman and at No. 4, Rakocevic led Connor O'Keefe 6-2, 4-1 at the time of the clinching point. 

- Rickeman and Tabunshchyk are currently No. 10 in the ITA Northeast regional doubles rankings.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- MIT is looking for its fourth straight NEWMAC Championship and 10th overall as the Engineers are appearing in their eighth straight league final. 

UP NEXT:

- MIT will host No. 2 seeded Babson College for the NEWMAC Championship on Saturday, May 4th beginning at Noon.

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