WORCESTER, Mass. – MIT opened the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference portion of its men's tennis schedule today, edging past Clark University, 5-3. The Engineers improved to 6-3 with the victory, while the Cougars saw a nine-match win streak snapped as they fell to 9-2 overall. Junior Matthew Skalak (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) won at both double and singles for MIT.
After splitting the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles matches, a close victory at No.3 gave MIT the early lead in the match. In a closely contested battle that went down to the wire, the Engineer team of senior Max Nelson (Medicac Lake, Wash.) and freshman Christopher Hunter (Melville, N.Y.) outlasted juniors Phillip Porter (Cortland Manor, N.Y.) and Dan Hall (Sutton, Mass.) 9-8 (7-4). Skalak picked up his first win of the day with sophomore Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) at No. 1 doubles, with the duo downing Clark's team of junior Diego Angel (Lima, Peru) and freshman Zack Goodstein (Columbus, Ohio), 8-2.
Moving to singles play both Nelson and Hunter picked up victories and Nos. 5 and 6 while Clark came through with a win at No. 3 before rain came that forced the match indoors. Nelson held off junior Dan Paradee (Gardiner, Maine) in the first set and went on to take a 7-5, 6-3 win in the No. 5 match. Hunter was also a winner in straight sets, taking a 6-3, 6-2 decision over freshman Joel Simonson (Waterford, Conn.).
With MIT in front 4-2 after the move indoors, Skalak took the deciding match for the Engineers. In the No. 2 contest he came back from a 6-4 setback in the first set to sophomore Dan Stein (Newton, Mass.) to take a match-clinching 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.
MIT will step out of conference on Thursday for a match at Brandeis University at 3:00 p.m. while Clark will also play on Thursday, hosting the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts at 4:00 p.m.