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Michael J. Meyer
Freshman Alexandria C. Hall hits a forehand during the Engineers’ first conference match against Springfield College at the du Pont Tennis Courts on Saturday.
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The MIT Women’s Tennis Team won their match 9-0 this past Saturday over Springfield College.

The word of the day was “compete” and that is just what the team did with tenacity. First up were the doubles matches which seemed to go by in a blur. The number two team of Melissa A. Diskin ’11 and Anastasia Vishnevetsky ’12 started the competition off by defeating their opponents decisively with an 8-0 win. Soon after, the number four team of Karina N. Pikhart ’09 and Jennifer A. Rees ’11 and the number one team of Leslie A. Hansen ’10, and Anisa K. McCree ’10 finished at the same time. Their final scores were decisive wins of 8-1 and 8-2 consecutively. The last team of Yi Wang ’09 and Alexandria C. Hall ’12 were left front and center of the doubles matches, and they provided an exciting finale. For the last few games, the points were quick and the two teams traded until Wang and Hall finally topped their opponents with a score of 8-2. This gave MIT the lead of 3-0 over Springfield going into the singles matches.

With such a huge lead, Coach Carol Matsuzaki told the team they could afford to be more aggressive in their singles matches, advice the players took to heart. First off was Vishnevetsky playing number two singles. She hit forehand cross court winners time and time again, not giving up a single game to her opponent. Her final score was 6-0, 6-0. Hansen, playing number one, finished soon afterwards. Hansen painted the lines with her shots and ran her opponent around, leaving her with a score of 6-2, 6-0.

Next up was Hall, winning her match 6-0, 6-2. During the second set and the second game, Hall was engaged in a long point until she finally had her opponent on the run, hitting a winner to the open court. Hall played aggressively her whole match, and her opponent was always on the defensive. Soon after Hall finished, Pikhart finished her match. During the third game of the second set, Pikhart went on the offensive, and attacked the net for a forehand volley winner, helping to catapult her to a win of 6-1, 6-1. Diskin finished her match next, causing her opponent to give up a number of forced errors, resulting in a 6-3, 6-0 win. Wang was the next one to come off the court. During the second set, Wang hit a down the line forehand winner to make the score 2-1. Wang won her match with a score of 6-0, 6-2. With Wang finished, only two matches were left on the court. Kerry R. Weinberg ’10 was the next one to finish up. Weinberg attacked the net and overpowered her opponent, reaching match point to win 6-4, 6-1.

Katherine M. Smyth ’10 was left front and center. Smyth continued to wear out her opponent in long rallies, and often overpowered her. The match went to a third set tie break. Amongst all the excitement, Weinberg was cheering in her own way, helping the atmosphere to stay light and cheerful. During the tie breaker, Smyth showed brilliance. Of the total 16 points played, Smyth completely outplayed her opponent for three of them, and in another five points she hit outright winners, giving her a score of 7-6, 4-6, 10-6. In the end, MIT swept all the matches, winning 9-0 over Springfield.