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Alexandria C. Hall ’12 smacks a backhand return in the women’s tennis team’s win over Clark University on Saturday afternoon at the duPont Tennis Courts. For more details about the match, see article on page 16.
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The MIT women’s tennis team received their first loss of the season this past Thursday to nationally ranked Tufts University, 7-2.

The doubles teams played first. Melissa A. Diskin ’11 and Karina N. Pikhart ’09 fell first with a score of 8-2. The next two matches were extremely close. Leslie A. Hansen ’10 and Anastasia Vishnevetsky ’12 defeated their opponents 9-7 for one of only two wins for MIT. The team of Yi Wang ’09 and Alexandria C. Hall ’12 lost their match in the tie breaker with a score of 9-8 (3). This left MIT down 1-2 going into singles matches.

Vishnevetsky started singles play and won her match 6-3, 6-0, the second and final win for MIT. Hansen fell 6-1, 6-3 to her opponent. Diskin was defeated in one of the longest matches of the year, 5-7, 6-4, 19-17. Wang lost her match 6-2, 6-1, and Pikhart fell as well by a score of 6-3, 6-2. Hall was defeated 7-5, 6-2.

On Saturday, however, MIT earned a commanding 9-0 victory over Clark University, not dropping a single set to the team.

As usual, the doubles teams started play first. The first three matches all ended with the same score of 8-2 and finished at about the same time. Hansen and Hall, Wang and Pikhart, and Diskin and Jennifer A. Rees ’11 were the first three teams finished, and all won their matches despite not playing with their typical doubles partners. This left Emily J. Onufer ’10 and Katherine M. Smyth ’10 front and center. Their exciting match marked the first time that Onufer and Smyth were reunited as a doubles team after Onufer’s elbow injury last year. The team finished off their opponents 8-4, leaving MIT with a lead of 3-0 going into singles play.

In the singles matches, Rees and Kerry R. Weinberg ’10 finished their matches first. Weinberg defeated her opponent without yielding a single game, 6-0, 6-0. Rees won her match 6-1, 6-0. Next off was Kimberlee Boonbanjerdsri ’12 with a score of 6-1, 6-1. Wang finished soon afterwards with an amazing rally. She ran her opponent off the court and hit a winning volley to decide the match 6-1, 6-1. Sheena Bhalla ’11 was off next, defeating her opponent 6-1, 6-0. Pikhart finished her close match next. She outlasted her opponent to win 6-4, 6-3, leaving Diskin front and center. Diskin ran down ball after ball to win her match 6-2, 7-5.

The MIT women’s tennis team will face Wellesley College at home on Tuesday, Oct. 7.