The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s tennis team brought its season to an end Thursday with a 5-1 loss to Middlebury (Vt.) at the NCAA Division III Championships in St. Louis, Mo. Andy Bryan (Jr., Edina, Minn.), ranked fifth nationally in singles, picked up Gustavus’ lone point with a win at No. 1 singles.
Middlebury, tied with Emory for third in the latest ITA Division III rankings, jumped out to a 3-0 lead by posting victories over the Gusties in all three doubles matches. Charlie Paukert (So., Grand Forks, N.D./Central) and Mike Burdakin (So., Bettendorf, Iowa) fell to Kevin Bergesen and Andrew Thompson 8-1 at No. 2 and Jesse Brauer (Sr., Mankato, Minn./West) and Bryan, rated second nationally, fell to the fourth-rated tandem of Alex Scott and George Mayer 8-4 at No. 1, before the Panthers completed the sweep with a 9-7 win by Filip Marinkovic and Conrad Olson over Ben Tomasek (So., Oakdale, Minn./North St. Paul) and Nick Hansen (So., Duluth, Minn./East).
In singles play, Thompson extended the Panther advantage to 4-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Paukert at fifth singles before Bryan posted a 6-2, 6-4 win over No. 4 Alex Scott at first singles. Bergesen closed out the match by downing Burdakin 6-4, 6-2 at fourth singles. Matches at No. 2, No. 3, and No. 6 singles were unfinished.
Gustavus closes out its dual season at 27-10, while Middlebury ends up at 22-2. Individual competition begins Friday and will continue throughout the weekend. Brauer and Bryan will represent Gustavus Adolphus in singles competition which gets underway at 9 a.m. with a second round following at noon. Bryan, rated fifth nationally in singles, will face Ben Staley of Cal Lutheran with a matchup against either Payum Payman of Wheaton (Mass.) or David Maldow of Johns Hopkins awaiting the winner. Brauer, rated 11th in Division III singles, will face Jeff Jablonski of Pomona-Pitzer with the winner to face either Alex Scott of Middlebury or John James of the University of Mary Washington.
The Gustavus pair will then team up for a doubles first round match beginning at approximately 3 p.m. against Michael Klimchak and Roger Mosteller of The College of New Jersey. Brauer and Bryan are rated second nationally, while Klimchak and Mosteller are unranked nationally and fourth in the Northeast Region. Champions in both singles and doubles will be crowned Sunday at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in St. Louis, Mo.