Men’s Tennis Dominates Rival Amherst College in 5-2 Victory
Engineers Enter NEWMAC Championship Undefeated in League
Men’s tennis completed an undefeated month on Wednesday by defeating Amherst College by a score of 5-2. The Engineers were 10-0 in April.
Head coach Jeff Hamilton was pleased with the outcome, especially after being very concerned before the match began. “It’s going to be a tight match,” said Hamilton.
However, the Engineers had several key individual performances that lead to the relatively easy win. MIT has now beaten Amherst three times in the past two seasons.
MIT takes doubles point
The victory over Amherst began with MIT winning two of the three doubles matches, thereby taking the doubles point.
The atmosphere was intense as the contest began. The first doubles match was particularly emotional. The top Amherst double team was vocal after every point. However, this “in-your-face” tennis did little to rattle the MIT team.
The top MIT doubles team of Jeffrey P. Augustyn ’03 and Andrew V. Kolesnikov ’03 went up by two breaks with the help of two game-ending overheads by Augustyn. With the match score at 4-3, Augustyn ended the eighth game by smashing the ball over the back fence.
In the next game, Augustyn cleaned the court with an untouchable backhand overhead. After dropping the next two games, Kolesnikov rallied back with a few backhand down-the-line winners. Augustyn and Kolesnikov claimed the match by a score of 8-5.
Marco A. Hernandez ’03 and Anish S. Parikh ’01 also defeated their Amherst opponents in the number two doubles match.
In one particularly exciting point, Hernandez gave his opponents a clinic on how to hit overheads. The Amherst opponents blew an easy overhead putaway chance by hitting the ball too short, causing the ball to carom high, but remain in play. Hernandez and Parikh both retreated to the baseline and managed to retrieve the overhead with a defensive lob. Hernandez then took the offensive by charging the net and spiking an overhead past his opponents.
Tech wins four singles matches
In singles action, Augustyn, Kolesnikov, Ricardo A. Rossello ’01, and Michael H. Ogrydziak ’04 each won in straight sets.
The energy of the match remained at a high level during the singles matches. Uncommon to most tennis matches, players from both sides shouted their support to each other. This display of team support exemplified the importance of the match to both MIT and Amherst.
Rossello frustrated his opponent, winning easily, 6-2, 6-2. Rossello consistently kept the ball deep in the court, not allowing his opponent many opportunities to gain the upper hand in the rally.
When his opponent took a risk and charged the net, Rossello consistently hit textbook passing shots. This caused Rossello’s opponent to frequently toss his arms in the air in frustration.
The next challenge for the men is the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Championships this weekend, where they are heavily to win. The Engineers have beaten all of their league opponents easily this season, winning each match 7-0, with the exception of a 6-1 win over Coast Guard.