Strong Singles Play Lifts MIT Over Tufts

Senior Elia Harmatz

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Down by a point after doubles play, the No. 28 MIT men's tennis team came back and won five of six singles matches to take a 6-3 victory over Tufts University. Junior Matthew Skalak (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) and sophomore Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) each were in on a pair of wins to lead the Engineers.

Tufts (8-6) took the early advantage in the match with a pair of wins in doubles play, getting the victories in the Nos. 2 and 3 matches. Who would come out of the doubles matches with the advantage came down to the No. 2 match between junior Ben Barad (San Rafael, Calif.) and freshman Brian Tan (Orinda, Calif.) from Tufts and MIT's team of sophomore Curtis Wu (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and freshman Eugene Oh (Alpharetta, Ga.). In one of the closest matches of the day the Jumbos team prevailed by a 9-8 (5) score to take a 2-1 lead into singles play.

MIT (9-3) stormed back in the singles portion of the match, getting four of their five wins in straight sets. Zhang took a 6-2, 6-0 win over Barad at No. 1, with Skalak taking a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 6 over Tan. Adding straight set wins for the Engineers were junior Brian Oldfield (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands), who won 6-4, 6-1 over sophomore Austin Blau (East Hills, N.Y.) at No. 3, while Oh scored a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jumbo senior Sam Laber (Cincinnati, Ohio) at No. 4.

Tufts avoided the singles sweep when sophomore Matt Pataro (Coral Gables, Fla.) took a 6-3, 6-0 win over Wu at No.  5. Senior Elia Harmatz (Huntingdon Valley, Pa.) fought back from a set down to junior Andrew Lutz (Baltimore, Md.) to pick up the final point for MIT in a 6-7 (10), 7-5, 10-5 win at No. 2

MIT will take on NEWMAC foe Springfield College in its next match, hosting the Pride on April 14 at 1:00 p.m. Tufts will be on the road again in its next match at it travels to Amherst College for a match on April 15 at 11:00 a.m.