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Tennis Sweeps New England Tournament

After Taking New England Regional Finals, Engineers Head for National Championship

By Aaron D. Mihalik

PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR

Men’s tennis made history last weekend at the New England Regional Division III Championships, taking the top two spots in the singles and doubles tournaments. Three MIT players will move on to compete in the National Championships later this month.

Evan W. Tindell ’06 won the singles finals match against teammate Vitaliy Pereverzev ’05 6-2, 6-4. Pereverzev and Andrew V. Kolesnikov ’03 defeated Tindell and Jeffrey P. Augustyn ’03 in the doubles finals match 6-0, 6-2.

The tournament is the only New England Division III tournament and consisted of 48 players for singles and 26 doubles teams from 19 schools. MIT had five singles and two doubles teams compete in the tournament.

Freshman Tindell takes singles

Tindell, the highest ranked junior tennis player to come to MIT and seeded 12th in the singles tournament, worked his way through the tournament defeating higher seeded players.

In the round of 16, Tindell upset the number one seeded player Nathan Edmunds from Middlebury 6-3, 6-4. In the following round Tindell upset Bowdin’s number two player Matthew Burke 6-4, 6-3.

In the semifinals match, the closest match of the tournament and the only match in which Tindell lost a set, Tindell dropped the first set but grabbed a quick 5-1 in the second set to Bates College’s Will Boe-Weigaard. Tindell won the second set in a tiebreaker and went on to win the third set.

“It was a really fiercely contested match,” said men’s tennis coach Jeffrey Hamilton. “It was the match of the tournament.”

Tindell started the match slowly and made a number of groundstroke errors while Boe-Weigaard attacked and forced Tindell into a several errors. In the second set, Tindell got off to a strong 5-1 lead, but Bow-Weigaard fought back to even the score 6-6. The turning point in the match was when Tindell won a decisive tie breaker 7-1 to close out the second set.

Tindell continued the forceful attack into the third set and held on to win 6-4, serving out the match.

Tindell went on to defeat teammate Pereverzev in the finals 6-2, 6-4.

“Evan is a great player,” Pereverzev said. “I didn’t think well enough to do the kind of game that I needed to play to beat him. I basically played his game.”

Pereverzev, seeded 14th in the tournament, made a simular climb to the top by defeating Trinity’s number two player Scott Levy 6-2, 6-1, and teammate Augustyn 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Russians take doubles title

Both semifinal doubles matches turned into three set marathons that kept coaches, players and spectators in the indoor tennis courts until midnight Saturday night.

MIT number two doubles team Augustyn and Tindell defeated William College’s number one team of Murray and Kivitz 6-4, 4-2, 6-2. The highlight of the match was Tindell serving out the match 5-4 in the third set decisively with two aces and two service winners in the final game.

In the other semifinal match, fourth seed Kolesnikov and Pereverzev defeated William College’s number two team of D. Murry and Mackenzie. Kolesnikov and Pereverzev served big in the bubble and relentless attached the net to sweep the second and third set.

“It was our toughest match,” said Kolesnikov. “It was really hard to push ourselves further when we lost the first set. It was our fourth match of the day. It was really hard to dig in and prepare for three sets.”

“Part of our success is that we are from the same country,” Pereverzev said. “When we play, we connect not only on the tennis level, but also on the language level.”

The doubles final was once again an MIT vs. MIT match. Kolesnikov and Pereverzev easily defeated Tindell and Augustyn 6-1, 6-2. Kolesnikov and Pereverzev played a perfect match against an injured Augustyn and a fatigued Tindell.

“We were pretty much in control the whole time,” said Kolesnikov “We were doing everything well. We were serving and returning well and poaching at the net. [Tindell and Augustyn] just never got it going.”

Other singles action

Augustyn, seeded number two in the tournament and past semifinalist, made it to quarterfinal round. Augustyn lost to teammate Pereverzev in a tight match 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Kolesnikov, seeded seventh in the tournament, was knocked out in round of 16 by eventual semifinalist Boe-Weigaard 6-2, 6-2.

Michael Ogrydziak, unseeded in the tournament, lost first round to Darren Becker, Wesleyan College’s number two, 7-5, 2-6, 10-8. Ogrydziak lost by a whisker in the tiebreaker played in lieu of a third set.

Players head to nationals

Tindell and the doubles team of Pereverzev and Kolesnikov will move on to the national championships in Corpus Christi, Texas on Oct. 17-20.

MIT has achieved the feat of representing both the singles and the doubles New England champion at nationals once before, in 1991. Alexis Photiades ’91 was the singles champion and the team of Manish Bhatia ’93 and Jay Muelhoefer ’94 achieved the feat.

MIT has won nationals once in 1992 with doubles team of Alan Walpole ’93 and Muelhoefer.