LONGMEADOW, Mass. - MIT's men's tennis team blanked Nichols College in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division III Championships, handing the Bison a 5-0 loss on Friday afternoon. Tech improved to 14-5, while Nichols saw its season come to an end at 21-2. The only other time the Engineers and the Bison had met prior to this was during the 2012-13 regular season, a match that Tech won by a score of 6-3.
Earning the first point for the Engineers were sophomores Jeffrey Bu (Arcadia, Calif.) and Dennis Garcia (Corpus Christi, Texas), who defeated Josh Halpern and James Smith, 8-2, at No. 3. In the top spot, junior Eugene Oh (Alpharetta, Ga.) and sophomore Kevin Wang (Havertown, Pa.) also had an 8-2 win over their opponents, Justin DeLuca and Brandon Roode.
Last to finish was the pairing of senior Edwin Zhang (Falls Church, Va.) and freshman Kenny Gea (Irvine, Calif.) with their 8-6 victory over Joan Castillo and Carlos De La Cruz at No. 2. The two teams were tied for the majority of the match, but MIT was able to pull ahead at the end to win the third straight point.
With a 3-0 edge over the Bison heading into singles action, the Cardinal and Gray only had to earn two more points to reach decision. Bu picked up the fourth point when he defeated Halpern at No. 5, 6-0, 6-0. Junior Jeffrey Sperling (Los Angeles, Calif.) closed out the match with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Jake Zapatka at No. 6.
MIT advances to the second round of the Championships and will face Bowdoin College at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.