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Lady Engineers Fall To Williams College

By Nisha Singh

The women’s tennis team closed out their spring season with matches at Brandeis University last Wednesday and Williams College last Friday. The team beat Brandeis 8-1, but lost to Williams by the same score.

Play started off with singles at Brandeis, which is unconventional, but the team had no problem adjusting as they won five out of the six matches. At first singles, Mealani Nakamura ’00 dropped the first set 2-6, but came back strong, winning the next 6-2, and blanked her opponent 6-0 in the third and deciding set. Kelly Koskelin ’02 and Jessica Hall ’02 cruised along at second and third singles, winning their matches 6-0, 6-1 and 6-3, 6-0, respectively. At fourth singles, Nisha Singh ’00 struggled to find her rhythm early in the match, but won 6-4, 6-2. Yi-Ning Cheng ’02 fought hard, but lost 4-6, 2-6 at fifth singles. Priscilla Cheung ’02 won a tough match at sixth singles. She showed more poise under pressure than her Brandeis opponent, prevailing 6-4, 7-6 (7-1). Divya Bhat ’02 and Amy Watson ’02 had very close matches at seventh and eighth singles and both won, 9-8 (8-6) and 8-6, respectively.

Going into doubles, the team knew that they had already secured the victory, so good teamwork in doubles was the main focus. With that objective in mind, they swept all the doubles matches. Nakamura and Koskelin, and Hall and Singh won 8-3 at first and second doubles. At third doubles, Cheung and Leela Ramnath ’02 battled both darkness (due to the courts having no lights), and very tenacious opponents. They continued playing well after the other matches wrapped up and won 9-8 (7-5).

“We did well to stay aggressive and win the close sets. Our doubles teams worked well together, and are getting better with each match we play,” said coach Carol Matsuzaki.

The team faced perennial national powerhouse Williams College in their last match of the season. Due to rainy conditions, all play was completed indoors.

The closest match of the day came at first doubles, where the team of Nakamura and Koskelin earned the only MIT point; they knocked off an incredibly talented Williams duo, 9-8.

The team, however, did not fare so well in the other doubles matches. Hall and Cheng lost 8-2 at second doubles and Cheung and Lisa Dang ’01 dropped the third doubles match 8-1.

In singles, the top three players had very competitive matches, though they were not able to earn a victory. Nakamura lost 6-4, 6-1, Koskelin lost 6-4, 6-3, and Hall dropped her match 6-3. 7-5. Cheng, Cheung, and Dang lost 6-0, 6-0 at fourth, fifth and sixth singles respectively.