No. 19 Women’s Tennis Falls to No. 4 Wesleyan, 5-1, in NCAA Elite Eight

No. 19 Women’s Tennis Falls to No. 4 Wesleyan, 5-1, in NCAA Elite Eight


- Score: No. 4 Wesleyan University 5, No. 19 MIT 1

- Records: No. 19 MIT (18-4), No. 4 Wesleyan (19-2)

- Location: Kalamazoo, Mich. (West Hills Athletic Club)

- The Lead: The nationally-ranked No. 19 MIT women's tennis team saw its season come to an end following a 5-1 loss to No. 4 Wesleyan University in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Championship on Monday. Appearing in the Elite Eight for the second year in a row and third time overall, the Engineers finished the year with an 18-4 record.


- After a back-and-forth start at No. 3 doubles, Alexis Almy and Alissa Nakamoto created a 5-3 cushion. Junior Lara Rakocevic (Portland, Ore.) and first-year Ashley Teng (Tustin, Calif.) won the next game, but Wesleyan claimed the final three for an 8-4 win. Trailing 4-1 to Polina Kiseleva and Venia Yeung in the No. 2 spot, sophomores Marina Zhang (Garnet Valley, Pa.) and Megan Guenther (Willowbrook, Ill.) captured three out of the next four games to come within 5-4. However, the Cardinals rattled off three straight games to secure the victory.

- At the top of the doubles ladder, sophomore Libby Rickeman (Wayzata, Minn.) and first-year Viktoriya Tabunshchyk (Ancaster, Canada) won the opening game and maintained a slight edge over Kristina Yu and Victoria Yu, as late as 5-4. Wesleyan picked up the next three games, but MIT closed the gap to 7-6 before falling in the final game.

- Teng had a 3-2 edge over Almy in the first set at No. 5 singles, however, Almy won the next four games to capture the set before going on to win 6-1 in the second stanza.

- Tabunshchyk produced the Engineers' only point of the day at the No. 2 position. Trailing 4-2 in the opening frame to Yeung, she came from behind for a 6-4 victory and then posted a 6-2 decision in the second set.

- Wesleyan clinched the match at the No. 3 spot as Zhang fell to Kristina Yu, 6-1, 6-2.

- At the No. 1 position, Rickeman won back-to-back games to go in front, 5-4, however, Victoria Yu countered with three consecutive victories to claim the set. Despite the setback, Rickeman built a 3-0 lead in the second set when the match was halted.

- Trailing 4-1 to Kiseleva at the No. 4 spot, Rakocevic narrowed the gap to 4-3, but Kiseleva held on for a 6-3 win. Rakocevic responded by taking the first three games of the second set and had a 4-3 edge when play was stopped.

- Guenther defeated Nakamoto, 6-0, in the first set at the No. 6 position. Nakamoto replied with a 6-1 victory in the next frame and won the first game of the third set when the match was decided.


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