CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Number one seed and host MIT defeated second-seeded Babson College at the finals of the 2014 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament on MIT's duPont Tennis Courts on Saturday afternoon by a score of 6-0. The Engineers improved to 13-5 on the season, while the Beavers dipped to 10-9.
Along with claiming its 16th consecutive NEWMAC title, dating all the way to the inception of the conference in 1999, MIT senior Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) was named the Tournament's Most Outstanding Player for his two singles wins at No. 1 and two doubles wins at No. 2 throughout the weekend.
Tech swept the doubles matches, and headed into singles action with a 3-0 edge over the Beavers. First to finish were sophomores Jeffrey Bu (Arcadia, Calif.) and Dennis Garcia (Corpus Christi, Texas) with their 8-4 win over Saif Rahim and Isaac Thylen at No. 3. In the top spot, sophomore Kevin Wang (Havertown, Pa.) and junior Eugene Oh (Alpharetta, Ga.) defeated Roberto Perez and Victor Vu, 8-5 and, at No. 2, Zhang and freshman Kenny Gea (Irvine, Calif.) also had an 8-5 victory over Connor DeFiore and Ramone Doyley.
In singles play, Gea added another point in the win column with his 6-2, 6-3 victory over Doyley. It was Garcia's 6-2, 6-4 decision over Rahim at No. 5 that clinched the win for MIT, adding the fifth point to the Engineers' total. Matches at No. 2, 3 and 5 were all in their second sets, with MIT winning all three of the first sets, before the remainder went unfinished.
It was just the match between Zhang and Perez at No. 1 that was played to completion long after the others had been ended early. The MIT senior had a 6-4 win over Perez in the first set, before the Babson sophomore came back to take a 6-2 win in the second. It was Zhang who won the tiebreaker, 10-8, to take the match.
Both teams will have to wait until Monday, May 5 to see if they have made it to the NCAA Division III Championships, which will be held in Claremont, Calif. at the Biszantz Family Tennis Center from May 19-24. The individuals list will come out on Wednesday, May 7 and the Individual Championships will be played from May 22-24. The Engineers have made appearances in the last eight national tournaments, while Zhang was the lone MIT representative at last year's Individual Championships.