SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – It was the best possible way to close out the regular season for the MIT women's tennis squad on Sunday as the Engineers scored a 5-4 upset win over No. 17 Skidmore College on the road. MIT came back from losing two of three in doubles play to score the upset, with Anastasia Vishnevetsky (Orange, Conn.) clinching the victory with a three-set win at No. 1 singles.
Skidmore (9-5) took the early lead in the match with victories in the Nos. 1 and 3 doubles matches. The MIT (11-8) No. 2 doubles team of Vishnevetsky and freshman Michelle Dutt (Gurnee, Ill.) kept the Thoroughbreds from making it a clean sweep, battling the team of sophomore Melissa Hirsch (Alamo, Calif.) and freshman Yumi Karlshoej (West Vancouver, British Columbia) and coming away with a close, 8-6, victory.
Needing four of the six single matches to win, MIT picked up the first of those when freshman Vynnie Kong (Cupertino, Calif.) won her No. 4 match with a 6-3, 6-0 win over sophomore Lee Ford (Newton, Mass.). Skidmore then edged back ahead when junior Nataly Mendoza (San Francisco, Calif.) defeated Dutt in the No. 3 match by a final of 6-2, 6-0.
MIT then came back with two key victories that gave the Engineers their first lead in the match. Sophomore Lauren Quisenberry (Corpus Christi, Texas) took a straight sets win in the No. 2 singles match against senior Tory Engros (Bronxville, N.Y.), 6-4, 6-1, to tie the match at 3-3. Sophomore Julia Hsu (Knoxville, Tenn.) then put MIT on top with a 6-1, 6-0 win at No. 5 over freshman Alex Smith (Beverly Hills, Calif.). The back-and-forth match then was tied by Skidmore as sophomore Robyn Baird (Potomac, Md.) defeated junior Caitlin Pomeroy (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) in the No. 6 match, 6-0, 6-1.
It all came down to the No. 1 match between Vishnevetsky and Hirsch, the 23rd ranked singles player in the region. Vishnevetsky had the upper hand in the first set, taking a 6-3 win. The two then battled through a close second set that wound up going to a tie-breaker that Hirsch eventually won, 7-6 (6). In the deciding third set it was Vishnevetsky that came out on top, putting away her opponent by a 6-2 score to clinch both her win and the team's victory.