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Men’s Tennis Edges Out Bates With Strong Doubles Showing

Engineers Take Win After Dominating NEWMAC Tournament

By Robert Aronstam

STAFF WRITER

After overpowering their conference at the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Championships, the men’s tennis team won a close match against Bates on Wednesday. The win was more hard-fought than most of the team’s previous victories.

Beginning the match, MIT claimed the doubles point by the narrowest of margins.

In the number one doubles match, serve was held for the first two games. In the next game, MIT’s Jeffrey P. Augustyn ’03 and Andrew V. Kolesnikov ’03 broke their opponents’ serve in an unconventional manner. The normally sharp-shooting duo shanked errant hits off their frames on consecutive points. Fortunately, the Bates players made unforced errors on both shots.

Following that first service break, Augustyn and Kolesnikov held their next three service games. Both players hit aces and service winners, preventing Bates from getting any break points.

In the ninth game, the Bates players gave up another service game by hitting careless shots on putaway opportunities to put MIT up 6-3.

Up two breaks and serving well, Augustyn and Kolesnikov appeared as if they would serve out the set without any difficulty. However, Bates held their own serve and broke Kolesnikov twice in the next few games, tying the score at 7-7.

MIT got another break in the 15th game. While Augustyn relied mostly on powerful forehand returns during the match, he showed a bit of finesse in this pivotal game. His crafty short-angle backhand volley winner helped to break the Bates serve and earn a chance to serve out the match.

Augustyn and Kolesnikov won each of Augustyn’s service games up until the critical 16th game where Augustyn was finally broken. MIT came up with winners from a Kolesnikov volley and an Augustyn serve, yet was unable to close out the game. Their opponents managed to take the game, thus forcing a decisive tiebreaker.

At the beginning of the tiebreaker, Augustyn and Kolesnikov dug themselves into a hole so deep that they were probably the only ones who could see a spark of hope. They dropped the first five points of the seven-point tiebreaker and had to fight off four match points before tying the breaker at 6-6.

After hitting a backhand winner, Augustyn netted a volley on MIT’s first match point. Finally, after a service winner, Augustyn and Kolesnikov sighed relief as a Bates shot sailed wide, ending the match with a score of 8-8 (9-7).

The number three doubles team of Ricardo Rossello ’01 and Michael H. Ogrydziak ’04 also emerged victorious, giving the Engineers the doubles point.

MIT, Bates split singles matches

MIT and Bates both won three singles matches. For the Engineers, Augustyn (number one), Marco Hernandez ‘02 (number three), and Rossello (number four) each won their matches in two sets.

MIT’s Luke D. Tomycz ’02 jumped out to an early one-set lead with an array of aggressive shots. While his opponent preferred to neutralize the rally with off speed shots, Tomycz hit mostly forceful ground strokes. Tomycz also frequently charged the net with hopes of ending the point early.

Immediately after losing the first set, Tomycz’s opponent launched a ball over the fence in frustration. This act resulted in a code violation against Tomycz’s opponent and a scream coming from the direction of Baker House. A bystander was struck by the flying tennis ball, but sustained no injuries. Tomycz dropped the second set by a narrow margin and was unable to recover in the third.

The men improved their record to18-2 with the win.