After a loss against MIT and an indoor win against Bowdoin on Sunday, Tufts is set to play in the conference tournament as one of the NESCAC’s top six seeds. The Jumbos have locked down the No. 5 seed after a strong spring season.
On Sunday, Tufts hosted conference rival Bowdoin, the NESCAC’s No. 2 seed. The match was moved indoors due to the adverse weather conditions. In a tight contest featuring two conference rivals, the Jumbos came out on top 5-4. Though the team fell behind 2-1 in doubles, it stormed back for a win with strong singles performances. A dramatic 6-7(9), 6-3, 7-6(5) win by sophomore Rohan Gupte over classmate Kyle Wolfe in singles clinched the overall victory for Tufts.
Just two days earlier, Tufts traveled to MIT for a non-conference match up with local Div. III rival Engineers. There, the Jumbos dropped their first 5-4 match of the season. After taking a 4-3 lead through doubles and the first four singles matches, MIT posted two three-set victories in the No. 3 and No. 4 positions to clinch a win.
To kick off the match, Tufts jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in doubles as sophomore Zain Ali and junior Kevin Kelly took the No. 3 doubles match over first-year Tyler Barr and junior Avi Walden, 8-2. MIT, however, recovered quickly, taking the second doubles position with an 8-4 win from senior co-captain Kevin Wang and first-year Sean Ko over Jumbo senior co-captain Rob Jacobson and classmate Jay Glickman. Senior co-captain Nick Cary and Gupte then fell to No. 45 ranked first-year Alex Cauneac and sophomore Bryan Lilley in a tight 9-8(3) at the No. 1 spot, giving MIT a lead headed into singles.
In the second half of competition, Tufts regained an edge in singles play. Though Cauneac took down Glickman at No. 1 singles in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, Gupte edged out Wang in the second position 6-2, 6-3. Wins for Tufts followed at the No. 5 and No. 6 spots for Cary and Kelly, respectively. MIT triumphed in the end with wins for Ko over Jacobson at No. 4 and Barr over sophomore Zain Ali at No. 3.
Tufts will match up with No. 4 Williams in the first round of the tournament, which will be hosted by Bates at the end of this week, starting on Friday. The Jumbos open with the first contest of the weekend at 2 p.m. in Lewiston, Maine. Should they win and advance, they’ll play top-seeded Middlebury the following day. The semifinal winners will then square off on Sunday to determine this year’s NESCAC champion. After capturing one of the lower seeds in the postseason tournament, Tufts will look to capitalize on its opportunity to avenge its regular season losses and make a run for the NESCAC championship.