WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – At the second round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Tournament, the MIT men's tennis team fell to Skidmore College with a final score of 5-3, thus eliminating the Engineers from the remainder of the tournament. MIT wrapped up the season with a record of 18-3, while the Thoroughbreds, who will continue on to the third round of nationals tomorrow morning, are 13-8.
To start the day, seniors Larry Pang (Torrance, Calif.) and Matthew Skalak (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.) fell to Miles Ransom and Gabe Steerman at No. 3 with a score of 8-2. Next to finish were juniors Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) and Curtis Wu (Yorba Linda, Calif.), who were defeated by Jimmy Sherpa and Jonah Epstein in a very close match at No. 1 with a final score of 8-6.
Freshman Kevin Wang (Havertown, Pa.) and sophomore Eugene Oh (Alparetta, Ga.) scored MIT's lone doubles point at No. 2 when they won against Kit Green-Anderson and Nick Tong with a score of 8-4. Going into singles, the Engineers trailed slightly behind the Thoroughbreds, 2-1.
Zhang battled Sherpa at No. 1, falling 6-3 in the first set before garnering a win in a close second set with a score of 8-6. He was trailing 3-0 in the third set but it was ended before it was completed, remaining unfinished.
Skalak tied the score at 2-2 with a win against Epstein at No. 5 singles with a score of 6-3, 6-3, but Skidmore once again took the lead when Danny Knight defeated Wang, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 3 and the lead was further increased when Pang fell to Ransom at No. 2 with a score of 6-2, 7-5. With three singles matches complete and three more to go, the Cardinal and Gray were down 4-2.
At No. 6, senior Tymor Hamamasy (New York, N.Y.) took both sets with scores of 6-4 over Green-Sanderson. At No. 6, Oh won set one with a score of 7-5 against Steerman, but Steerman took the second set with a score of 6-2. Steerman jumped to a 3-0 lead in the third set only to see Oh battle back to tie the score at 4-4. Steerman ultimately won the final two sets with a score of 6-2, 6-4 to give Skidmore the win.
Although the team is done with its season, Zhang still has a few more weeks of competition ahead of him. The junior will compete in the NCAA individual tournament that will take place at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich. from Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25. The individual championships will consist of 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams. Zhang, who is making his first solo nationals appearance, is the first MIT men's tennis player to make it since Tom Dohlman in 2007.