The Gustavus men’s tennis team took a big step towards claiming its 23rd consecutive MIAC Regular Season Title with an 8-1 win over Carleton in Owatonna on Saturday afternoon. The Gusties, who are rated #6 regionally and #30 nationally, won all three doubles matches and then took five of the six singles matches against the Knights, who are ranked #11 regionally.
“Our depth turned out to be the difference today,” stated head coach Tommy Valentini. “The freshmen really stepped up and made a difference including Juan Luis Chu (at #3 singles), Marcel Gyswyt (at #5 singles), and Joe MacGibbon (at #6 singles) as all three posted dominating straight set victories.”
The match of the day turned out to be at #1 doubles where the Gustavus duo of Amrik Donkena and Patrick Clark, which is ranked #6 in the Midwest Region outlasted the Carleton duo of Dan Vollman and Paul Cooper, which is ranked #11 by the score of 9-8 (7-4 in the tiebreaker).
“We competed real hard and stayed positive throughout,” said Valentini. “They are a talented team and our players stayed focused and played consistently strong tennis in some tough matches.”
In singles play, Gustavus won four of the six matches in straight sets, while junior Patrick Clark locked up in a lengthy battle with Dan Vollman at the #2 position. Clark won the first set 7-6 (7-3 in the tiebreaker), then dropped the second set 2-6, before winning the third set superbreaker by the score of 10-5.
With the win, the Gusties improve to 7-0 in conference play, while the Knights drop to 4-1. Gustavus will host UW-Eau Claire in a non-conference match tomorrow morning (Sunday, April 10) at 9 a.m.