Steerman opens, closes with victories as Skidmore advances in NCAA tournament
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Skidmore beat No. 28 MIT 5-3 in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Division III Men's Tennis tournament on Friday to advance to the regional championship.
The Thoroughbreds (13-8) will face the sixth-ranked and host school against host Williams College at 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday for the right to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Skidmore, competing in its sixth consecutive NCAA tournament, is playing in the regional championship for the second time in program history. The team advanced to the NCAA third round in 2009, losing to Middlebury.
Skidmore's Gabe Steerman finished what he started Friday when he helped his team record its first and last points of the match.
For the second day in a row Skidmore's No. 3 doubles team of Miles Ransom and Steerman gave the Thoroughbreds a 1-0 lead as they downed the MIT pairing of Larry Pang and Matthew Skalak 8-2.
Sticking with their winning formula from Thursday when they opened a 2-1 lead after doubles in defeating UMass Boston, Skidmore increased its lead to 2-0 when the Thoroughbreds' No. 1 team of Jimmy Sherpa and Jonah Epstein prevailed 8-6 against Edwin Zhang and Curtis Wu.
MIT avoided being swept in doubles play when the No. 2 team of Kevin Wang and Eugene Oh put together an 8-4 win against Kit Green-Sanderson and Nick Tong.
MIT evened the match at 2 when Skalak registered a 6-3, 6-3 win against Epstein at No. 5 singles.
The Thoroughbreds' immediately regained the lead at 3-2 when Danny Knight, at No. 3 singles, captured a 6-4, 6-2 win against Wang.
The Skidmore lead grew to 4-2 when Ransom walked off the No. 2 singles court with a 6-2, 7-5 win against Pang.
MIT's Tymor Hamamasy got the third win for the Engineers when he fashioned a 6-4, 6-4 victory at No. 6 against Green-Sanderson.
With matches at Nos. 1 and 4 singles still on the court, Skidmore was looking for one last win, while MIT needed to capture both.
Sherpa won the first set at No. 1 6-3 against Larry Zhang, but Zhang took a 4-3 lead in the second set en route to an 8-6 win.
At No. 4 singles, Oh won the first set 7-5 against Steerman, who took the second set 6-2. Steerman jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set only to see Oh battle back to tie the match at 4. Steerman then won the last two games to give Skidmore the win.
Skidmore is now 4-5 all time in the NCAA tournament, while MIT fell to 18-3 on the season and sports an NCAA record of 10-16.