|Otilia Popa joined Tomo Iwasaki as Senior Day honorees for the Jumbos.|
MEDFORD – The 19th-ranked MIT women's tennis team rallied for a 5-4 victory over #9 Tufts in the regular-season finale for both teams on Friday.
The match was moved indoors to the Gantcher Center due to rain. Tufts (8-8) won all three doubles contests and then the first singles match to finish and led 4-0. However, MIT (14-3) came back to win the remaining five singles matches.
In the decisive sixth singles match, Engineers sophomore Megan Guenther won a third-set against Tufts junior Kat Wiley 4-6, 6-1, 6-0. MIT had tied the team score at 4-4 when junior Libby Rickeman took a third-set tie-breaker over freshman Maggie Dorr 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in first singles.
The Jumbos had jumped in front 3-0 with doubles dominance. The pair of Tomo Iwasaki and Otilia Popa, who were honored on Seniors Day at Tufts, won the second match 8-2. Freshman Anna Lowy and Wiley followed with 8-6 success on the third doubles court. Dorr and classmate Caroline Garrido completed the sweep at #1 8-3.
Iwasaki then added a #2 singles win 6-2, 6-4 to extend Tufts' advantage to 4-0, just one win shy of a victory.
Sophomore Marina Zhang earned the Engineers' first point with a 6-1, 6-4 victory in third singles. Junior Lara Rakocevic likewise lost just five sets in her #4 win (6-1, 6-4). Freshman Ashley Teng pulled the visitors within 4-3 with a 6-3, 6-3 final in fifth singles, leading to the dramatic conclusion.
Both teams play in their conference tournaments next weekend with seedings and schedule to be announced.