The Gustavus men’s tennis team extended its current win streak to four matches with convincing wins over UW-Whitewater 8-1 and Augustana, S.D. 9-0 on Saturday at the Swanson Tennis Center. The Gusties went 12-0 in singles and 5-1 in doubles on the day.
Coach Tommy Valentini’s squad opened the day with an important regional win over nationally rated UW-Whitewater. The Warhawks entered the match ranked #5 regionally and #28 nationally and boasted a mark of 11-1. The Gusties, who are currently #9 regionally, jumped out to a 2-1 lead by winning at #1 and #3 doubles as Amrik Donkena and Pat Clark defeated Mitch Osborne and Byron Balkin 8-3, while Juan Luis Chu and Marcel Gyswyt knocked off Charlie Miller and Erik Scanlan 8-6.
Gustavus closed out the match by winning all six singles matches including four in straight sets. Donkena and Chu pushed the lead to 4-1 with convincing straight set wins at #1 and #3. Donkena defeated Andy McGlasen 6-2, 6-2 and Chu beat Byron Balkin 6-2, 6-1. Tyler Johnson claimed the decisive fifth point by defeating Mitch Osborne 6-3, 6-4 at #4. Clark locked up in an intense battle with Andrew Bayliss at #2 with Clark rallying from a 4-6, 4-5 deficit to defeat Bayliss claiming the second set in a tiebreaker (7-4) and then winning the final set 6-4. Marcel Gyswyt also lost the first set 5-7 at the #5 position before winning the second set 6-2 and claiming the match with a 10-6 win in the decisive third set superbreaker.
Coach Valentini showed the team’s depth using nine different players in the team’s 9-0 win over Division II Augustana on Saturday evening. Gustavus got to an impressive start winning all three doubles matches. Ryan Hallsten and Sean Golden won a nailbiter at the #3 position as they defeated Dane Rasmussen and JD Carrels 9-8 (7-5 in the tiebreaker). In singles play, the Gusties won all six matches in straight sets, however Daniel Pomeranc was pushed to a tiebreaker at the #1 position as he defeated Jared Drenkow 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. Grant Leisner (#2), Ryan Hallsten (#3), Logan Peterson (#4), Connor Illies (#5), and Patrick Pisani (#6) all cruised to straight set wins with no player dropping more than three games in a set.
Gustavus was scheduled to play Concordia on Sunday, however the match was canceled due to poor weather that closed Interstate 94 up to Moorhead. The match has not been re-scheduled at this time.
The Gusties will continue indoor play this weekend with matches against St. Cloud State (9 am) and Saint Mary’s (2 pm) at the Swanson Tennis Center on Saturday.