CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In an epic six and a half hour match that saw five different sets go to a tiebreaker, the No. 17 ranked MIT women's tennis team scored a hard-fought, 6-3 win over No. 14 Tufts University. Sophomore Dora Tzeng (Fremont, Calif.) scored a dramatic, come-from-behind win in her singles match to provide the Engineers with the match-winning point.
MIT (11-4) got things rolling with a pair wins in doubles play. Tufts (6-2) put the first point on the board when their team of Zoe Miller and Tomo Iwasaki won the No. 3 match, 8-3. MIT's No. 1 team of junior Elysa Kohrs (Half Moon Bay, Calif.) and sophomore Sonya Das (Arden Hills, Minn.) found themselves down 4-1 in their match, but reeled off seven straight games to take an 8-4 win. The Engineers' No. 2 duo of junior Wendi Kong (Cupertino, Calif.) and Tzeng then closed out their match, 8-6, to put MIT up 2-1 going into singles play.
Kohrs put another point on the board for MIT with a 6-0, 6-4 win in the No. 1 match before Das held off Conner Calabro in the first set, 7-6 (7-2), on her way to a 6-4 second set decision that put the Engineers one point away from the match victory.
Tufts pulled back to within two when Iwasaki took a close, 7-6, 7-6 win over Kong at No. 4. At No. 2 Tzeng and Mina Karamercan split their first two sets, with each winning 6-3. In the deciding third set Karamercan took a 5-2 lead and was ahead 40-love, just one point away from victory, when Tzeng staged her comeback, saving eight match-points as she came from behind to clinch the match for the Engineers with a 7-6 (11-9) third-set win.
MIT and Tufts then split the final two matches of the long evening, with Julia Keller winning at No. 5 for the Jumbos by a 7-5, 6-1 score, and senior Iris Zhuang (Allen, Texas) coming back from a first set loss to defeat Jacqueline Baum, 4-6, 7-5, 10-7 at No. 6.
MIT will play next on Saturday when the Engineers will face the team that they played in last season's Elite 8, Amherst College, with play beginning at 1:00 p.m.