This past Saturday, the MIT women’s tennis team defeated Bates College 7-2 in their opening match of the Spring Season. Adding to the excitement was the fact that this was the first match attended by Caroline Hamilton — the adopted teammate from Friends of Jacyln, which matches children with brain tumors with college and high school athletic teams. The team’s confidence after the first match, Caroline, and fan support gave them a good start.
First up were the doubles matches. The number one team of Leslie A. Hansen ’10 and Anastasia Vishnevetsky ’12 defeated their opponents with a decisive 8-1 win. They were closely followed in victory by the number three team of Anisa K. McCree ’10 and Melissa A. Diskin ’11 who defeated their opponents 8-2. This gave MIT a 2-0 lead over Bates.
Next to finish was the exhibition team of Alexandria C. Hall ’12 and Jennifer A. Rees ’11, who defeated their opponents 8-2 as well. This left the number three team Karina N. Pikhart ’09 and Yi Wang ’09. The match was close and many points found all four players at the net, but in the end Pikhart and Wang lost 4-8 to Bates. This had MIT in the lead 2-1 going into the singles matches. All the while, Caroline’s cheering could be heard by the team, encouraging them to play well.
The singles matches followed. Hansen and Vishnevetsky, one and two respectively, were the first two matches to finish. Vishnevetsky started off her match on the offensive, attacking the net in the first game. She won her match 6-1, 6-2. Hansen’s match was tough, but she finished it off with a running crosscourt forehand winner to take the match 6-3, 6-4. This gave MIT a 4-1 lead over Bates.
Wang followed and won the final point in her match with a forehand passing shot down the line. Diskin was off next, losing a long three-set match 6-2, 0-6, 4-6. The overall score was now MIT 5, Bates 2. McCree played an intense match after Diskin with long rallies. She pulled out the match 6-3, 6-2. Next to finish was Pikhart, who won six straight games in the second set to win 6-3, 6-1. This left MIT with a 7-2 victory.
In the exhibition matches Kerry R. Weinberg ’10 lost 7-9, even with her impressive lob winners. Finally, Jenny C. Dohlman ’11 served up a winning exhibition match 8-4. In the closing statements, Assistant Coach Dan Griffin said, “It’s good that the team is already playing with confidence this early in the season.”
As a result of the win, Head Coach Carol Matsuzaki now holds the record for tennis coach with the most career wins in the history of MIT women’s tennis, with a total of 128.