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Tennis Team Continues To Dominate Opponents

By Ann Hsing

TEAM MEMBER

With four more victories under its belt, the women’s tennis team extended its flawless record to 7-0. Clark, Springfield, Colby, and Wellesley all proved no match for the determined women of the courts. Despite variable weather conditions and pouring rain, the team rallied and fought hard through each match.

“This young team is gaining valuable match experience with every match they play. It’s excellent that whether we do well or not people are learning and getting things out of these experiences,” said Coach Carol Matsuzaki.

The first of four wins began at Clark, where the MIT women walked away with an 8-1 victory. Kelly Koskelin ’02 and Victoria Davis ’04 cleaned off their opponents 8-1, as Jessica Hall ’02 and Shima Rayej ’04 knocked away Clark 8-4. Ann Hsing ’02 and Caroline Tien ’04 also won at third doubles 8-0.

In singles, Koskelin fought hard her first set, but eventually lost the match. Rayej and Tien both only gave up one game total to their opponents, as Hall breezed through 6-2, 6-4. Antimony L. Gerhardt ’04 smiled her way through a 6-1, 6-1 victory as Hsing sweated through a three-set victory 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Yi-Ning Cheng ’02 also shut down her opponent 8-1.

Leaving the barbed wired courts of Clark, MIT packed their bags once again for Springfield last Saturday. Finishing the entire match in a little over two hours, the MIT women played solid, smart tennis that Springfield could not handle. Sweeping all doubles once again, the teams of Koskelin and Davis and Hall and Rayej both pulled out 8-2 victories, and Hsing and Tien won 8-0.

Singles ran in the same fashion with Koskelin blasting her opponent out of the water 6-1, 6-1. Rayej showed the same toughness with her victory of 6-2, 6-1, and Davis cruised to a clean 6-3, 6-1 victory. Tien won 6-1, 6-4 victory, and Hall and Ruby J. Pai ’04 gave up no games to their opponents.

The special play of the day was Hall’s first set, otherwise known as a Golden Set. Somewhere hidden in the deep jungles of tennis mythology lies the legend of playing a match in which the opponent wins no points whatsoever in the set. Only hearing of such stories, Hall stepped up the challenge, as she emerged the founder of the Golden Set.

With the ominous weather of Sunday, Colby came to MIT with high hopes of a victory only to leave empty handed. The doubles matches were a little tougher than in the past, but the women of MIT showed no signs of slowing down. Both Koskelin and Davis and Hall and Rayej pulled out 8-6 victories, with Hsing and Tien firing to an 8-4 victory. In singles, Koskelin dropped her first set 6-1 only to come back with a vengence, winning the next two sets 7-5 and 6-2. Rayej and Davis both showed no mercy with 6-2, 6-1 and 6-1, 6-1 victories. Tien went into three sets, emerging the winner 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Hall and Pai both put in great efforts despite their losses, 2-6, 5-7 and 5-7, 6-4, 6-7(3). Hsing pulled out a quick 6-4, 6-1 victory with Cheng losing her set in a tough match, 2-6, 2-6.

As Tuesday rolled around, the tennis bubble prepped itself up with a good cleaning that led to not only wet courts outside due to the rain, but wet courts with a funky smell on the inside due to the cleaning. After the courts were sparkling fresh, Wellesley joined MIT on the courts for what proved to be MITs toughest match yet.

Doubles started a bit slowly, with Koskelin and Davis pulling away with an 8-3 victory and Hall and Rayej inching away 8-6. Hsing and Tien suffered their first loss of the season 4-8. Entering the singles with only a one point lead over Wellesley, the women of MIT knew they would have to fight hard for the next three points needed for a MIT victory. Koskelin responded by soundly beating her opponent 6-2, 6-0. Rayej then won the first set easily 6-2, only to stop in the second set as her opponent retired due to physical reasons. Davis faced a tough three-set match, dropping her first set 6-2 but rallying back to win her second set 6-2. After long rallies of smart plays, Davis lost a close third set 7-5. Tien and Hall both emerged victorious 6-4, 6-2 and 6-1, 6-2 which secured the MIT victory. Hsing lost at sixth singles 6-1, 6-1, as well as did Jennifer Lee despite a strong comeback towards the end of the match.

As the women’s tennis team heads off into the second half of their season , their hopes are as high as their spirits for a repeat of the NEWMAC conference title. This weekend, the team heads to Williams College for the Rolex Invitational. They then play Brandeis and Tufts away next week. To all the supporters and fans of tennis, jump in your cars, bring your signs and your screams to help propel MIT tennis into another great season.