St. Peter, Minn. - Gustavus Adolphus junior Mya Smith-Dennis (Savage, Minn.) has been named the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Men’s Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week for his performances over the weekend. Picking up two wins at No. 1 singles and two more playing at No. 2 doubles, Smith-Dennis helped the Gusties go 2-0 with a pair of 9-0 wins over Carleton on Saturday and St. Thomas on Sunday. Mya is the third Gustavus men’s tennis player to earn MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week honors this season, following Amrik Donkena (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) and Tyler Johnson (Jr., West Bend, Wis.).
“Mya was fantastic for us this weekend,” said Head Coach Tommy Valentini. “He played with great composure in both of his singles matches. Jiang and O’Connell are talented and tough competitors who played great tennis against him in some crucial spots of each match. Mya responded to with poise and confidence – he trusted his game and went for it in the big moments.”
Smith-Dennis got off to a fast start on Saturday afternoon against Carleton. Playing with junior Joey MacGibbon (Apple Valley, Minn.) for the first time this season, the duo made short work of Austin Jiang and Alexander Chin at No. 2 doubles with an 8-0 victory. At No. 1 singles, Smith-Dennis topped Jiang 6-3, 7-5.
On Sunday against St. Thomas, the Smith-Dennis/MacGibbon combination earned another victory at the No. 2 spot, this time defeating Brendan O’Connell and Brady Radermacher 8-3 to assist in Gustavus’s fast start. The junior then proceeded to defeat O’Connell 6-4, 6-4 for this fourth straight win and second straight at No. 1 singles.
Smith-Dennis currently has a team-high 16 singles wins and is 16-12 overall on the season. He is also 18-8 in doubles, going 16-8 when playing with Amrik Donkena and 2-0 alongside MacGibbon.
“In doubles, he played with great energy,” continued Valentini. ” There haven’t been a lot of matches over the past few seasons in which Mya hasn’t played with Amrik. With Amrik out for the weekend with an injury, Mya teamed up with Joey for two very strong doubles performances. He was adaptable, steady, and confident. He set a great tone for our team all weekend, and I’m thankful that his results matched his effort.”
At 19-9 overall and 8-0 in the MIAC, the Gustavus men’s tennis team will gear up for the regular season finale against St. Olaf College. The match is set to take place on Saturday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Peter, Minn.