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MIT took the first step towards defending its New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis title with a 5-0 win over Springfield College today in a semifinal match of the 2012 NEWMAC Tournament. MIT improved to 14-4 with the victory while Springfield fell to 8-8 on the season.

MIT took control of the match early on with wins in all three doubles matches. The Engineers’ No. 3 team of seniors Robert W. Wheeler and Biafra O. Ahanonu scored the first point of the day, taking an 8-0 win over Springfield senior Zach O’Leary and sophomore Joe Giannelli (Watertown, Conn.). At No. 2, the MIT pairing of Curtis L. Wu ’14 and Larry Pang ’13 won 8-4 over Springfield. MIT made it a clean sweep in a spirited No. 1 doubles match where the team of Matthew T. Skalak ’13 and Edwin M. Zhang ’14 defeated the Springfield team of freshman Kyle Mersereau and junior Benjamin Burnap, 8-5.

Needing just two points to win the match, the Engineers got them in the first two singles matches, to take the win. At No. 4, junior Tymor C. Hamamasy downed Nickerson, 6-3, 6-1, to put the Engineers up 4-0. Zhang then clinched the match for MIT, defeating Mersereau by the same 6-3, 6-1 score. With the outcome of the match determined, the final four singles contests were not finished.