The Gustavus men’s tennis team defeated Carleton 5-0 in the MIAC Playoff Championship match Saturday evening at the Swanson Tennis Center in St. Peter. The Gusties defeated St. Thomas 5-0 in a semifinal match on Saturday afternoon to get to the championship match. Gustavus automatically qualifies for the NCAA Tournament as a result of winning the MIAC Post-Season Tournament. The NCAA Tournament field will be announced on Monday afternoon.
The Gusties, who were seeded #1 in the tournament as a result of winning the MIAC regular season title, started the day with a 5-0 win over St. Thomas. Gustavus won all three doubles points as Andy Bryan and Charlie Paukert defeated Anya Vayghan and Ben Herding 8-2 at the #1 position, Mike Burdakin and John Kauss defeated Josh Tomashek and Ben Herding 8-1 at the #2 position, and Nick Hansen and Kevin Stickney defeated Drew Carlson and Andy Michels 8-4 at the #3 position. The Gusties closed out the match with singles victories at #2 and #5 singles. John Kauss defeated Ben Herding 6-0, 6-1 at the #2 position and Aaron Zenner defeated Andy Michels 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) at the #5 position.
In the championship match, Gustavus once again claimed all three doubles matches in convincing fashion as Andy Bryan and Charlie Paukert defeated Colin Russell and Winston Park 8-2 at the #1 position, John Kauss and Mike Burdakin defeated Kartheek Koneru and Peter Varnum 8-2 at the #2 position and Nick Hansen and Kevin Stickney defeated Brendan Cooper and Julian Tokarev 8-4 at the #3 position. The Gusties needed to win two singles matches to earn the five points necessary to defeat the Knights and win the title and Kevin Stickney and John Kauss came through with decisive victories to make the final score 5-0. Stickney defeated Jordan Hughes 6-0, 6-1 at the #6 position and Kauss defeated Kartheek Koneru 6-3, 6-1 at the #2 position.
The Gusties, who will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time, will be making their 15th consecutive appearance. Gustavus won the NCAA Championship in 1980 and 1982.