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Men's Tennis Edges Dartmouth 4-3, Breaks Spring Losing Skid

By Dan Wang
Team Member

The men's tennis captured its first regular season dual meet win of the season Thursday, defeating the Dartmouth College B team (lower tier varsity), 43. The match was decided by the narrowest of margins, as the win came down to a third set tie-breaker in the final match left to play.

The Engineers swept all three of the doubles matches, and did so fairly easily. Jason Weintraub '97 and Rob Marcato '97 moved up from the second doubles position to the top spot, but still managed an 84 win. At second doubles, Dan Wang '97 and Surya Ganguli '97 had early problems, but ended up with an 85 victory. Third doubles pair Hank Lin '97 and Chris Bae '98, playing together for the first time, were the first ones done, after coming up with an 83 result.

In the singles portion of the competition, MIT lost its points in straight sets, and needed three sets in all three of the matches that it did win. First singles player Weintraub went down 63, 63. At the second position, Wang had a closer match, but could not capitalize on chances to go ahead, and swallowed a 76 (75), 7-5 loss. The third Dartmouth point came at fifth singles, where Ganguli lost, 62, 75.

At the third and fourth positions, both Lin and Marcato lost the first set, but came back to win the second and went on to close off the final set quickly. Lin won his match, 46, 64, 61, while Marcato came away with a 46, 63, 62 result.

With the final team verdict yet to be decided, all that was left was the sixth singles match, of Jordan Lupu '96 against a Dartmouth player who had played first singles against MIT last year. Lupu won the first set, 75, but then his opponent came back to take the second, 64. In the third set, Lupu was ahead most of the time, but not by far, and could not close out the match.

Lupu had chances at 65 in the third set, and later on at 63 in the tie-breaker, but could not convert on any opportunities. Finally, after squandering six match points, he had a stroke of luck on the seventh when his shot hit the tape and died before his opponent could retrieve it. As a result of Lupu's win, MIT gained its fourth point and the team win.

The MIT team will play its last home match tomorrow afternoon against Amherst College, then will close out its season on Friday against Brandeis University.