St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis team took care of business in the MIAC Playoff Semifinals against Saint John’s University on Saturday morning at the Swanson Tennis Center. The Gusties cruised to a 5-0 victory to earn a trip to the MIAC Playoff Championship set to take place later in the day at 2:30 p.m.
“We prioritized coming out with big energy and setting the tone early,” said Head Coach Tommy Valentini. “We played aggressive and captured the momentum with a great showing in doubles. Mya and Grant did a great job in singles and Amrik was doing his part when the match ended. It was a good team effort and we got great support the entire match.”
The morning began with a Gustavus sweep of the doubles competition. Amrik Donkena (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) and Mya Smith-Dennis (Jr., Savage, Minn.) earned the Gusties’ first point of the day with an 8-2 victory over Fabricio Moncada and Jack Hansen at No. 1 doubles. Grant Leisner (Jr., Andover, Minn.) and Tyler Johnson (Sr., West Bend, Wis.) followed suit with an 8-2 win over Andrew Nagel and Connor Rust at No. 2, and Motasem Al-Houni (So., Tripoli, Libya) and Brad Entwistle (So., Sioux Falls, S.D.) topped Willie Paul and Zach Shriwise 8-3 at No. 3.
In singles play, Smith-Dennis and Leisner recorded the two points needed to allow the Black and Gold the 5-0 decision. Smith-Dennis beat Joe Laue 6-1, 6-0 at No. 2, while Leisner defeated Connor Rust 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3.
Coach Valentini said that today’s championship match will come down to staying in the moment and his players competing for one another. “We want to make sure we come out and play our game tonight,” commented Valentini. “With an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament on the line, the goal is to establish energy early. These are the types of matches you look forward to and we’re excited about our opportunity.”
With an overall record of 21-9, the Gustavus men’s tennis team will now play for its third straight MIAC Playoff Championship at 2:30 p.m. at the Swanson Tennis Center.