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Tennis Overpowers Brandeis University

Men Bring Spring Season Record to 5-1

By Robert Aronstam


The men’s tennis team skunked Brandeis 9-0 in winning their sixth match of the season last Tuesday. MIT won each of the 3 doubles and 6 singles matches in the contest and brought their season record to 5-1.

The number one singles player, Jeffrey P. Augustyn ’03, had a relatively easy win, despite a poor start. Augustyn clearly overpowered his opponent with deep groundstrokes, and he took advantage of his opponent’s inability to grab the upper hand in any of the rallies.

Augustyn continually forced his opponent into awkward shots and errors. “I tried to keep the ball on his backhand side, where he was weaker,” said Augustyn. “I also tried to attack both [first and second] serves.”

This aggressive style led to three service breaks in the second set of the two-set victory.

In the number five singles match, it appeared that Anish S. Parikh ’01 would have an even easier time defeating his opponent. Parikh, fueled by two aces in his first service game, stormed out to an early lead in the first set. Parikh continued to dominate the match in both his service and return games, winning the first set 6-0.

Improved play from his opponent and a questionable line call led to a reversal of fortune for Parikh in the second set. After hitting what Parikh thought was a clean forehand winner down the line, his opponent called the ball wide. Parikh lost that game and found himself in a bit of a hole.

His confidence on the court, however, was unaffected. Parikh recalled that his opponent “put up a better fight in the second set, but I still wasn’t worried about losing the set.” Indeed, Parikh, after being broken twice at the start of the second set, fought back to claim the set 6-4.

Parikh cited his opponent’s inability to hit deep balls as a reason that allowed him to regain control of the second set. Parikh added pressure by charging the net on his opponent’s short shots, which forced his opponent into weak replies. Parikh was able to win the point with either volley or overhead winners.

Augustyn and Parikh also won their doubles matches, which preceded the singles competition. Also winning doubles and singles matches were Andrew V. Kolesnikov ’03, Marco A. Hernandez ’03, and Ricardo A. Rossello ’01.

Michael H. Ogrydziak ’04 won the closest match of the afternoon. Ogrydziak claimed the number six singles contest by winning two tiebreakers in the first and second sets.

The MIT men’s tennis team, coached by 2000 NCAA Division III Coach of the Year Jeff Hamilton, has already competed in an invitational tournament in Washington State this year. At the tournament, MIT played well, but lost to a top-ranked Division III school, Emory University.

MIT was invited to the tournament because of its success from last year. The tennis team was sixth in the NCAA Division III rankings at the conclusion of last season. However, the team lost number one, two, and six players from last season to graduation. The top two players from the 2000 season, Eric L. Chen ’00 and Benjamin P. Cooke ’00, were also Division III All-Americans.