The Gustavus men’s tennis team split duties today en route to recording its first three wins of the spring season on Saturday. The Gusties defeated Division II institutions St. Cloud State 6-3 in Sartell and Minnesota State University, Mankato 7-2 at the Swanson Tennis Center before shutting out Concordia 9-0 in Fargo. Charlie Paukert, Ashok Jethwa, and Nick Hansen each picked up a pair of wins in singles play.
Gustavus started the day picking up all three doubles points against St. Cloud State. John Kauss and Mike Burdakin defeated Wojciech Batorski and Mike Master 8-3 at #1 doubles, while Nick Hansen and Charlie Paukert defeated Kris Johnson and Ryan Schoenefeld 8-1 at the #2 position. At #3 doubles, Patrick Clark and Ashok Jethwa defeated Shane Ecklund and Jeremy Thompson 8-4.
However, the match became much closer during singles play as four matches were played into super tiebreakers. Nick Hansen picked up the only straight set win for the Gusties during the contest when he beat Kevin Bauleke 6-3, 6-4 at #6 singles. Gustavus picked up its two remaining points at #2 and #5 singles. Charlie Paukert dropped the first set 6-4 to Ryan Schoenefeld, but rallied to win the next set 6-3 and the tiebreaker 10-8 at the #2 spot. Ashok Jethwa overcame similar circumstances at #5 singles as he lost the first set to Shane Ecklund 6-2 before coming back to win 6-4, 1-0 (10-6).
Later in the day, members of the squad traveled to Fargo to defeat Concordia 9-0 in the first conference dual of the season. All three doubles pairings won by identical 8-3 scores heading into singles competition. The Gusties claimed each singles point with straight set victories as the closest match was at #4 singles where Patrick Clark defeated Jordan Swanson 6-3, 6-1.
Back at the Swanson Tennis Center against Minnesota State University, Mankato, Gustavus trailed 2-1 heading into singles play after dropping points at #1 and #3 doubles. Matt Nelson and Brooks Stapleton earned the point at the #2 doubles position when they defeated Adam Doll and Marco Vasquez 8-6. However, the Gusties bounced back as they swept all six singles matches without dropping a set. The tightest match occurred at #1 singles when Ben Tomasek defeated John Julian 6-4, 6-2.
Gustavus returns to action next week when it hosts the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III Men’s Tennis National Indoor Team Championships at the Swanson Tennis Center. The Gusties face third-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the quarterfinals on Friday at 5 p.m.