The Gustavus men’s tennis team will be competing for its 18th consecutive Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference team title this spring. The Gusties have claimed 31 MIAC team titles during current head coach Steve Wilkinson’s 34 years at Gustavus.
The Gusties return every player but one from a squad that finished the 2005 season with a 29-6 record, won the MIAC Championship, and finished fourth at the NCAA Team Championship. Gustavus will need to replace All-American Ben Lundell, but the rest of the lineup returns intact. Wilkinson will build the team around senior All-Americans Loren Collins, Brett Morse-Karzen and Adam Morgan. This past fall, Collins won the ITA Midwest Region singles title and continued on to place second at the ITA Small College Championships. Morgan took second place in the ITA Midwest Region singles tournament losing only to Collins in the finals. Morgan and Morse-Karzen also won the ITA Midwest Region doubles title and finished third place at the ITA Small College Championships.
Joining Collins, Morgan, and Morse-Karzen in the singles lineup will be senior Roy Bryan, junior Jesse Brauer, and sophomore Andy Bryan. Brauer, who has been a part of the Gusties top six for the past two years, posted a 13-9 mark at the #3 position last spring, while Roy Bryan posted a 14-6 mark at the #5 position. Andy Bryan turned in a fine freshman campaign as he compiled a record of 21-3 at the #4 position. With the exception of Collins who did not play last spring due to an injury, the other five starters were a combined 87-28 overall and 31-0 in the MIAC.
The doubles lineup will consist of Morgan and Morse-Karzen at the #1 position, the Bryan brothers at the #2 position, and Collins and Brauer at the #3 position. The Gusties, who won the doubles point in 31 of their 34 matches last year appear to very strong in doubles play again this year.
The Gusties began their 2006 spring season with an 8-1 win against the University of Hawaii-Hilo on February 2 in Hawaii. Gustavus then lost 6-3 versus Brigham Young-Hawaii on February 3 and again dropped a dual 6-1 to the University of Hawaii on February 4. After three matches in Hawaii, the Gusties returned to Minnesota with a 1-2 record. Gustavus will now play 13 straight home matches starting with a match against Minnesota State University Mankato on February 11. During this homestand, Gustavus will also host the ITA Division III Indoor Championships on February 25-26.