NCAA Quarterfinals: Wesleyan 5, MIT 1

Kristina Yu, Wesleyan

Courtesy of Wesleyan Sports Information

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Wesleyan women's tennis team advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the first time in program history after a 5-1 victory over MIT (18-4) in a quarterfinal contest on Monday. The Cardinals will take on top-ranked Emory on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., with a trip to the NCAA Championship match on the line. The Eagles blanked Chicago 5-0 to earn their spot in the semifinals. Wesleyan began the match with a clean 3-0 sweep of the doubles contest, before recording two victories in singles to clinch the 5-1 victory. The win improves the school record for wins in a season with 18, against just two losses.  

DOUBLES HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Alexis Almy and Alissa Nakamoto earned the first point for Wesleyan in the #3 spot against MIT's Lara Rakocevic and Ashley Teng. With the match knotted at 3-3, the Cardinals found their rhythm, pulling away to secure an 8-4 decisive victory.
  • At #2, Wesleyan's Polina Kiseleva and Venia Yeung took a 2-1 early lead and never tailed. Up 4-1, the Engineer tandem of Megan Guenther and Marina Zhang cut the deficit to one (4-3), but the Cardinals increased their lead, earning the second point with an 8-4 triumph.
  • Sister duo Victoria Yu and Kristina Yu battled MIT's Libby Rickeman and Viktoriya Tabunshchyk in back-and-forth action. The match was tied four different times before the Wesleyan pair increased its lead to 7-5. The Engineers fought back, slicing it to one (7-6), but the Yu sisters won two-straight games to put the Cardinals up 3-0 after doubles.

SINGLES HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Despite suffering a minor injury last week in the Regional Final, Almy came back and played strong tennis at #5. She edged MIT's Ashley tang 6-3 in the first set, before cruising to a 6-1 victory in the second to give Wesleyan a 4-0 lead.
  • Tabunshchyk tallied the Engineers lone point of the day with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Yeung in the second spot.
  • The clincher came at #3 where first-year Yu took down MIT's Zhang. Yu cruised to a 6-1 first-set triumph, before tallying a 6-2 victory to end the match and send the Cardinals to their first ever final four.
  • The remaining three matches went unfinished. Wesleyan's Kiseleva was up 6-3, 4-3 at #4, while senior Yu won the first set 7-5, but was trailing 3-0 when the match was clinched. In the sixth spot, Nakamoto suffered a 6-0 loss in the first set, but battled back and propelled herself to a 6-1 victory in the second set against MIT's Guenther. Nakamoto was up 1-0 when the match was decided.