Sophomore Andy Bryan (Edina, Minn.) defeated Gary Simonette 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 at #4 singles to allow the Gustavus men’s team to claim a thrilling 4-3 win over Williams College (Mass.) in the third place match at the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Team Championship. The tournament is being played at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Gusties have now finished second, third, or fourth at the NCAA Championship six times in the past seven years.
The Gusties opened the match by winning the doubles point and taking a 1-0 lead. Andy Bryan and Roy Bryan (Edina, Minn.) were the first to claim victory as they defeated Jeff Kivitz and Bret Thatcher 8-1 at the #2 position. Adam Morgan (Barrington, Ill.) and Brett Morse-Karzen (Wilmette, Ill.) picked up the deciding second doubles win at the #1 position by defeating Scott MacKenzie and Gary Simonette 8-4. The #3 doubles match was stopped once the doubles point had been secured by Gustavus. Loren Collins (Dallas, Texas) and Jesse Brauer (Mankato, Minn.) were leading Daniel Greenberg and Bryan Monier 5-4.
In singles play, Williams rallied to take a 2-1 lead when Bryan Monier picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win over Gustavus’ Brett Morse-Karzen 6-1, 6-1 at the #6 position and Jeff Kivitz defeated Jesse Brauer 6-4, 6-2 at the #3 position. The Gusties tied the match at 2-2 when Adam Morgan defeated Scott MacKenzie 6-3, 6-3 at the #2 position. The see-saw battle continued as Williams took a 3-2 lead when Daniel Greenberg defeated Loren Collins 6-0, 3-6, 6-1 at #1 position. Gustavus bounced right back to tie the score at 3-3 when Roy Bryan defeated Ted Haley 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 at the #5 position. The match was decided at #4 singles where Andy Bryan battled Gary Simonette in a classic three-set match. Bryan won the first set 6-4, but Simonette rallied to take the second set 7-5. Bryan jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the third set and then closed out the match by winning the decisive set 6-2.
This is the fourth time in the past seven years that Gustavus and Williams have met at the NCAA Team Championship. Both teams have now won two matches. Gustavus defeated the Ephs 4-3 in the semifinals in 2000 and then Williams won two straight defeating the Gusties 4-1 in the semifinals in 2003 and 4-1 in the quarterfinals in 2004. Gustavus evened the mark at 2-2 with the 4-3 win this year.
With the win, the Gusties tied a school record for wins in a season with 35. Coach Steve Wilkinson’s squads have compiled 35 wins two other times in school history – 1976 (35-6) and 2001 (35-3).
The focus of the NCAA Championships will now turn to individual play with the singles and doubles championships taking place over the next three days. Loren Collins and Adam Morgan will play in the singles tournament, while Morgan will team with Brett Morse-Karzen in the doubles tournament. Collins is seeded #3 in singles, while Morgan and Morse-Karzen are seeded #4 in doubles.