The Gustavus men’s tennis team posted a pair of 8-1 wins over UW-Eau Claire and Hamline on Saturday afternoon at the Owatonna Tennis and Fitness Club in Owatonna, Minn. The Gusties led 2-1 after doubles play in each match, but went on to win all six singles points as they improved to 7-3 overall and 2-0 in MIAC competition.
Gustavus extended its winning streak to three matches after defeating UW-Eau Claire, which was riding a three-match winning streak, 8-1. The Gusties picked up two doubles points from Mike Burdakin and John Kauss at #1 and Kevin Stickney and Nick Hansen at #3. Burdakin and Kauss defeated Steve Lantz and Phil Loprinzi 8-0, while Stickney and Hansen defeated Dirk Van Rybroek and Eric Wollum 8-4. The Blugolds picked up their lone point of the contest at #2 doubles when Lars Olson and Chris Kuna defeated Charlie Paukert and Ben Tomasek 8-5.
Gustavus claimed all six singles points with the most tightly contested match occurring at the #3 spot between Mike Burdakin and Phil Loprinzi. Burdakin dropped the first set 6-3, but stormed back to the match at a set apiece after winning the second set 6-2. Burdakin went on to win the superbreaker 10-4. Other Gusties posting wins were John Kauss at #1, Charlie Paukert at #2, Kevin Stickney at #4, Ben Tomasek at #5, and Patrick Clark at #6.
Gustavus earned its second win of the day by defeating Hamline 8-1. Similar to the match against UW-Eau Claire, the Gusties came away with two of the three doubles points heading into singles play. Wins came from the tandems of Eric Ice and Krishan Jethwa, who defeated Bernard Mitambo and Robert Becker 8-3 at the #1 position, and Matt Nelson and Brooks Stapleton, who defeated Kyle Helgemoe and Brendan Fitzpatrick 8-3 at the #2 spot. The Pipers won the point at #3 doubles when Dan Cromwell and Andrew Lutz defeated Patrick Pisani and Josh Knutson 8-6.
Gustavus won each singles match, but two of the six matches were decided in three sets. At #2 singles, David Koppel lost his first set 7-6 (7-5) to Bernard Mitambo before winning the second set 6-1 and the superbreaker 10-3. Peter Wright was forced into a superbreaker at the #3 spot after winning the first set 6-4 over Dan Cromwell and losing the second set 7-5. Wright prevailed in the superbreaker 10-8. The remaining singles victories came from Ashok Jethwa at #1, Daniel Pomeranc at #4, Krishan Jethwa at #5, and Theo Roth at #6.
The Gusties will play in four matches next Saturday against Morningside, Grinnell, and St. Olaf at the Swanson Tennis Center and Bethel in Arden Hills.