Women's Tennis Struggles to 2-2By Carol Matsuzaki
The women's tennis team played four tough matches during the week of Oct. 11. They were 2-2, bringing their overall record to a formidable 8-2. MIT lost the first two matches to Smith College and Brandeis University, but were determined to get a win and were victorious against Middlebury and Wheaton colleges.
Frederica Turner '95 turned in a stalwart performance against Smith, losing 3-6, 2-6. Captain Valerie Tan '94 played a vigorous match but was respectably overcome, 5-7, 1-6. Carol Matsuzaki '95 showed true dominance as she took a 6-4, 6-1 win. Patience served well for Hana Ohkawa '94, as she decimated her opponent 6-2, 6-2.
In doubles, Janet Chen '94 and Nicole Mitchell '94 were solid as a rock and won 6-1, 6-4. Monica Gupta '94 and Miranda Fan '95 suffered a respectable loss, 6-7, 1-6. The team of Ohkawa and Matsuzaki played the heartbreaker-tiebreaker to determine the winner of their match. Although they showed tremendous excitement and near-psychic teamwork, they were overcome, 4-8, by an excellent Smith doubles team in a spectacular showdown, giving Smith the overall 4-3 victory.
At Brandeis, MIT put in yet another valiant but losing effort, bowing to Brandeis 2-4. Turner took a tough loss, 3-6, 1-6, while Tan gave a gallant performance, losing 4-6, 2-6. Matsuzaki took a heartbreaking loss, 4-6, 4-6. Seetha Ramnath '96 lost a tough match, 2-6, 3-6.
Both MIT doubles teams of Ohkawa and Chen and Mitchell and Fan gave stellar performances as they were victorious 6-2, 6-2, and 7-5, 6-1, respectively.
On Oct. 16, MIT dominated the day, thanks to the genius coaching of Candy Royer and excellent support of Claudia Hung '93 and Elliot Schwartz G, as the team pulverized Middlebury and Wheaton 6-3 and 4-2, respectively.
Although the doubles team of Ohkawa and Matsuzaki lost 0-8 to Middlebury, Turner and Tan, and Mitchell and Chen claimed dominant victories, 8-3 and 8-4, respectively.
In singles play, MIT showed the meaning of true toughness as Tan, Matsuzaki and Ohkawa all won grueling come-from-behind three-set matches. Tan never gave up and won 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1. Matsuzaki struggled in the first set, but never looked back and won 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4. Ohkawa picked herself up and was victorious 1-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3. Chen bulldozed her opponent 6-1, 6-1. Turner came up short on a noble effort, 2-6, 5-7, while Ramnath put up a tenacious battle but lost 1-6, 5-7. In exhibition singles, Staci Jenkins '97 took a gutsy defeat 2-6, 1-6.
Against Wheaton, MIT showed its superiority by claiming three of the four singles and one of the two doubles matches. Matsuzaki crushed her opponent 6-1, 6-1, while Chen showed true eminence yet again by taking a 6-0, 6-1 win. Ohkawa was involved in quite a clash, but managed to capture a win, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Mitchell and Lily Koo '97 played brilliantly and took a 6-4, 6-4 win.
MIT will play Brandeis and Smith again in the New England Women's 8 tournament and hopes to repeat history by becoming the champions again. But prior to that, the women hope to put in tough, energetic performances at the New England Women's Intercollegiate Tennis Tournament starting Oct. 22 to be held at Amherst College.