MIT Rallies To Top Wellesley in NEWMAC Tennis Match, 7-2

(l) Michaela Markwart and (r) Justine Huang helped the Blue take a 2-1 lead in doubles (Frank Poulin).
(l) Michaela Markwart and (r) Justine Huang helped the Blue take a 2-1 lead in doubles (Frank Poulin).

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College tennis suffered the team's first New England Women's & Men's Athletics Conference (NEWMAC) setback of the season, falling to MIT by a final score of 7-2 on Sunday afternoon inside of the Dorothy Towne Fieldhouse.

With the win, MIT remains perfect in NEWMAC play at 6-0 and 11-2 overall, while Wellesley drops to 4-1 in conference and 10-6 on the year.

After falling behind during doubles play, MIT swept singles play to rally for the victory. At No. 1, sophomore Libby Rickeman (Wayzata, Minn.) defeated Wellesley senior Justine Huang (Coto de Caza, Calif.) in three sets (2-6, 6-1, 6-3) to tie the match. First year Viktoriya Tabunshchyk (Ancaster, Canada) was victorious over junior Selina Peng (Taichung, Taiwan) in the No. 2 slot by a final of 6-4, 6-3 to put MIT ahead.

Junior Lara Rakocevic (Portland, Ore.) went on to down first year Michelle Shen (Dallas, Texas), 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4, before first year Ashley Teng (Tustin, Calif.) picked-up the win at No. 5 (6-3, 6-4) over first year Libby Chang (San Marino, Calif.) to secure the MIT match win. Sophomore Marina Zhang (Garnet Valley, Pa.) took care of the No. 3 match-up with first year Michaela Markwart (Hanover, Mass.) by a final of, 6-0, 6-1, and Megan Guenther (Willowbrook, Ill.) wrapped up the singles sweep at No. 6 over sophomore Lily Chu (Princeton, N.J.) with a 6-4, 6-2 win.

In doubles, the Blue pair of Shen and Chu earned the first Wellesley point of the day, as they downed MIT's Rakocevic and Teng, 8-3, at No. 3. MIT evened out the match at 1-1 with a tiebreaker victory at No. 1 with Rickeman and Tabunshchyk fending off Wellesley's Peng and Chang in a tight 8-7 final. Huang and Markwart stepped up for Wellesley to defeat Guenther and Zhang 8-6 at No. 2.

Wellesley returns to play on April 17th against Babson College as they look to get back in contention for the top spot in the NEWMAC standings, while MIT will head north on April 19th to take on No. 6 Bowdoin College.