After breezing through the MIAC Playoffs last weekend, the Gustavus men’s tennis team is prepared to compete at the 2012 NCAA Division III Championship on Saturday in Whitewater, Wis. The Gusties received a first round bye and will face the winner between the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Concordia-Wisconsin on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Heading into the regional tournament, Gustavus has a 21-7 record and is ranked No. 26 in Division III according to the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll. Amherst is ranked No. 1, with Emory and Williams rounding out the top-three.
Last year, the Gusties hosted the regional tournament and came away with a 5-0 shutout over Concordia-Wisconsin in the quarterfinals before falling to Trinity 5-3 in the semifinals.
Gustavus will rely on a young starting lineup that includes six members of the All-MIAC team. Junior Amrik Donkena will handle to No. 1 singles and doubles spots. He has compiled a 19-8 overall record in singles and 27-3 mark in doubles. Donkena’s teammate at the top doubles slot is sophomore Mya Smith-Dennis. The Savage, Minn. native is having an outstanding first year wearing the black and gold with a 22-6 record in singles and 29-4 mark in doubles.
Sophomore Juan Luis Chu has taken on the third singles position and holds a 16-7 record. In doubles play, Chu and his teammate, senior Daniel Pomeranc, have won 14-of-19 matches together. The two will compete at the second doubles slot.
Rounding out the doubles competition at No. 3 will be sophomore Joey MacGibbon and first-year Bradley Entwistle. The underclassmen have posted a 10-2 record this season as teammates. MacGibbon will also handle the No. 5 singles slot with a 19-8 mark as Entwistle controls the sixth position at 15-5. Junior Tyler Johnson enters the tournament with a 19-8 singles record and will handle the No. 4 spot.
The 2012 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championship consists of 43 teams. The teams will play a single-elimination tournament with the first, second and third rounds played at regional sites, May 11-13. Meredith College and the Town of Cary will host the team championships finals, which will be held May 21-23 at the Cary Tennis Park in Cary, N.C.
Automatic qualification (AQ) into the tournament is granted to 30 conference champions, which form “Pool A.” Six teams are selected from true independents and schools from conferences that do not have an automatic bid for their champions (Pool B). The remaining seven teams are selected from those teams in conferences with automatic bids that did not win their conference’s AQ and the remaining Pool B institutions (Pool C). The teams are geographically paired, whenever possible.
UW-Whitewater will serve as this year’s regional host. For extensive coverage of the tournament, please visit UW-Whitewater’s tournament website: