St. Peter, Minn. – In a month during which the Gustavus men’s tennis team capped its regular season against a mix of highly competitive regional and out-state competition, the Gusties went 7-4 overall and 3-0 in the MIAC on the way to their unprecedented 25th MIAC Regular Season Championship. Leading the Gusties throughout April was junior Mya Smith-Dennis (Savage, Minn.) who held down the No. 1 and 2 singles position, as well as the No. 1 doubles spot during the month. For his outstanding play, Smith-Dennis has been named the Student-Athlete of the Month for April.
Smith-Dennis turned in a singles record of 7-1 in April. He played at the No. 2 slot for his first five matches, and then was called upon to play at No. 1 for the injured Amrik Donkena (Sr., Rochester, Minn.) for his last three. The junior’s only loss came at the hands of Pomona-Pitzer’s Chris Wiechert in a three set battle on April 5. Aside from that loss, six of his seven wins were of the straight set variety.
In doubles play, Smith-Dennis and Donkena were paired up for the first five matches of the month. To pair went 2-3 with all three losses coming against regionally ranked doubles squads including a tightly-contested 8-5 defeat at hands of the No. 1 ranked doubles team in the Central Region in Adam Putterman and Ross Putterman of Washington University (Mo.).
In his final three doubles contests of the month, Smith-Dennis and Joey MacGibbon (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.) made short work of their opponents, registering wins of 8-0, 8-3, and 8-0 to cap April.
With a 9-0 win over St. Olaf on April 27, the Gustavus men’s tennis team extended its conference dominance to a quarter of a century. Gustavus has won 259 consecutive conference matches, a streak unmatched in collegiate tennis. The previous record was held by Kalamazoo who had a string of 241 straight league wins from 1962 to 2003. The Gusties carried an overall record of 20-9 and an MIAC mark of 9-0 into the MIAC Playoffs held last weekend in St. Peter.
Smith-Dennis and the rest of the Gusties went on to win their third consecutive MIAC Playoff Title with an 8-1 win over Carleton. Gustavus enters the 2013 NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 22-9. Mya carries a singles record of 19-12 and a doubles mark of 21-8 into nationals.