St. Peter, Minn. – Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis player Amrik Donkena (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) has been named the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week for his performance this past weekend at the 2013 ITA Indoor Championship. Donkena went 2-1 in singles play and 2-1 in doubles against a slew of the toughest competition he will face all year. This season’s ITA Indoor Championship featured seven teams that were ranked inside the top 15 in Division III. Gustavus defeated UC-Santa Cruz 5-4 in the second round, yet fell to Emory University 8-1 in the first round and Johns Hopkins University 5-4 in its final match.
In the Gusties’ opening round contest against No. 1 ranked Emory, Donkena and his staple partner Mya Smith-Dennis (Jr., Savage, Minn.) suffered a tightly-contested loss to Elliot Kahler and Ian Wagner by the score of 8-6. Donkena then fell in straight sets after a battle against Alex Ruderman – the No. 14 ranked singles player in the nation – at No. 2 singles by a 4-6, 4-6 score. His losses in Gustavus’s first match of the tournament would be his last of the weekend.
On Saturday morning against No. 8 UC-Santa Cruz, Donkena and Smith-Dennis ground out a 9-7 victory over Eli Scandalis and Erich Koenig to give the Gusties a 2-1 advantage heading into singles play. The senior then defeated Andre Halabi 6-4, 6-2 to earn Gustavus its first singles point of the match. Gustavus then picked up wins at No. 5 and No. 6 singles to win the match 5-4.
In the Black and Gold’s narrow 5-4 loss to Johns Hopkins late Saturday night, Donkena and Smith-Dennis took down the fourth-ranked doubles squad in the country in Tanner Brown and Erik Lim by the score of 8-6. Donkena then cruised past Tanner Brown, who was ranked 21st in singles, 6-4, 6-1 to once again give Gustavus its first point in singles play.
Amrik Donkena will head into next weekend’s matches with a record of 7-6 in singles play and 10-5 in doubles. The 5-5 Gusties are scheduled for two matches on Sunday, March 2, facing Grinnell at 9:30 a.m. and then Macalester later at 6:00 p.m.