No. 3 Wellesley Falls To No. 2 Babson in NEWMAC Tennis Semifinals

Michaela Markwart and the Blue will end the season with a 13-9 record (Frank Poulin).
Michaela Markwart and the Blue will end the season with a 13-9 record (Frank Poulin).

BABSON PARK, Mass. – No. 2 Babson College earned a 5-0 victory over No. 3 Wellesley College in the semifinals of the New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Women's Tennis Championship on Tuesday afternoon at the Babson Tennis Courts.

With the victory, Babson improves to 14-5 overall and will face top-seeded MIT in the NEWMAC Championship match on Saturday, May 4.

Babson took a 3-0 lead during doubles play to take control of the match. Sophomores Alexa Tutecky (North York, Ontario) and Nastasia Tamarkin (Washington, D.C.) opened Tuesday's semifinal with an 8-1 win over Wellesley junior Selina Peng (Taichung, Taiwan) and first year Libby Chang (San Marino, Calif.) at No. 1. The Blue battled at No. 2 and No. 3, but came-up just short in a pair of 8-6 finals. 

The Beavers went up 2-0 in the match with a win at No. 3, where junior Emily Roeper (Belle Mead, N.J.) and first year Mary Kille (Simsbury, Conn.) closed out the win over junior Korina Hernandez (Tampa, Fla.) and first year Cinji Lee (Seoul, South Korea). At No. 2 , sophomores Carolina Merz (Santa Tecla, El Savador) and Marissa Madison (Columbus, Ohio) had a 7-4 lead before Wellesley junior Justine Huang (Coto de Caza, Calif.) and first year Michaela Markwart (Hanover, Mass.) cut the deficit to 7-6. However, the Babson duo secured the final point to prevail. 

With the hosts leading 3-0 entering singles, Tutecky defeated Huang, 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 to put the Blue on the brink. A 6-4, 6-4, win for Merz over Peng at No. 2 sent the Beavers on to the NEWMAC final. 

At the time the match concluded, the Blue had split sets at No. 3, No. 5, and No. 6. At No. 3, Markwart had a 1-0 lead over Tamarkin in the third set after earning a 6-1 win in the second. Chang took her first set, 6-2, over Roeper at No. 5, before dropping the second set by the same score. Like Markwart, Chang was up 1-0 in the third at the time the match concluded. At No. 5, Sophomore Lily Chu (Princeton, N.J.) rallied from a 6-2 loss in the opening set to earn a 6-2 win in her second set against Kille. 

Wellesley, the No. 17 team in the most recent ITA Division III Women's Northeast Regional Rankings, ends the season with a 13-9 overall record.