Netters get a 5-4 win over SUNY
By Jennifer Moore
On Saturday the MIT men's tennis team posted a 5-4 win over the State University of New York, Binghamton, to raise its season record to 2-1. As the final score might indicate, the entire meet was extremely close. Out of nine matches, six went the maximum three sets.
The score was 4-2 after singles, meaning the Engineers only needed to win one of the three doubles matches to post a victory. This did not turn out to be a simple task, however, as one was all they did win. The third doubles team of Manish Bhatia '93 and Joe Ong G was victorious in two sets, 6-0, 6-3.
The other two doubles matches were close, however. The first doubles team of Ken Peng '92 and Jay Muelhoffer '94 lost in three games, 6-3, 3-6, 5-7; and second doubles Alan Walpole '94 and Tony Bacigalupi '94 lost 6-7 (8), 5-7. Coach Jeff Hamilton plans to concentrate on strengthening the doubles teams.
The hero of the day was junior Ken Peng, who pulled out a close match in the No. 3 singles position in the third set, winning, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (3). That third set proved to be the most decisive of the day.
Top singles man Alexis Photiades '91 dropped his match, losing to Greg Munoz, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (7), and Bhatia lost to Greg Sowartz, 6-3, 2-6, 3-6.
The SUNY-Binghamton team traveled for six hours to compete at MIT, hoping to improve its Division III standing. The importance of this meet was apparent in SUNY's emotional playing style. While MIT players listened calmly to Hamilton's repeated advice to "be patient," SUNY players were leaping with alternate feelings of joy and frustration, grunting from exertion with each swing of their rackets.
Hamilton has high hopes for his team this year. He is very optimistic that MIT will end up in Los Angeles at the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships. A team must be ranked in the top 12 of over 200 Division III teams to make it to Los Angeles. Though MIT has consistently placed in the top 20 and has sent individuals to the championships, the team itself has never before qualified.
Men's tennis has all of its players back this year. This is one of the main reasons the team is so strong. Also, three of the starting six singles are freshmen with strong tennis backgrounds. Most of them were regionally or sectionally ranked in high school.
Another source of strength is practice. "Tennis is a demanding sport that requires constant fine tuning,"
said Hamilton, "so we work hard ev-
ery day." All eight members of the
team can be found on the courts every weekday afternoon.