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Men's Tennis Team Loses 5-2 to Amherst

By Daniel Wang
Team Member

The men's tennis team closed its Division III schedule with a 5-2 loss to Amherst College, bringing the season record to 5-11. The result marked the third consecutive loss to Amherst for the Engineers, who near the close of a disappointing season.

Despite going into the dual meet as the underdog, MIT arrived with high hopes of creating some surprises. However, by the end of the singles portion of the event, the Lord Jeffs proved to be stronger, in varying weather conditions. The result held true to form, on paper at least, as earlier in the season, Amherst defeated three of the teams to whom MIT had lost.

At the beginning of the singles play, the air was full of humidity with temperatures in the 80s. Before the second through sixth singles, players all lost hard-fought matches in straight sets, there was near darkness and a severe threat of rain.

The last singles match was the battle at first singles between Jay Muelhoefer '94 and Adam Gerstein. Both were semifinalists in the Rolex New England Small College Tennis Championships last fall.

Muelhoefer won the first set tiebreaker, by a score of 15-13, in what he admitted to be the longest set he ever played. Gerstein, however, rebounded to take the second set, 6-1. At the end of the second set, the impending rains materialized into a downpour, complemented by a thunderstorm. The weather forced the match to be completed indoors, with vastly different court conditions.

The change of venue did not seem to affect Muelhoefer too much, who continued his attacking game. Muelhoefer spent most of the time either hitting winners or forcing errors, to win the final set easily, 6-2.

With Muelhoefer playing first doubles for MIT, and Gerstein playing third doubles for Amherst, their extended singles contest held up two-thirds of the doubles play. Time constraints at the indoor facility ultimately caused cancellation of the first and third doubles matches.

In the one match that did take place, the second doubles team of Mark Erickson '94 and Jason Weintraub '97 used their aggressive play to win their shortened match, 8-4.

The Engineers will conclude their regular season this Thursday at home, against the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a Division I team. In that match, they hope to end their season on a high note.