St. Peter, Minn. – A total of six Gustavus men’s tennis players have been honored in the 2013 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tennis Awards released Wednesday by the MIAC. Earning a place on the All-Conference Singles Team was Marcel Gyswyt (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.), Grant Leisner (Jr., Andover, Minn.), Joey MacGibbon (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.), and Mya Smith-Dennis (Jr., Savage, Minn.). Gusties being named to the All-Conference Doubles Team included Leisner, Smith-Dennis, Motasem Al-Houni (So., Tripoli, Libya), and Tyler Johnson (Sr., West Bend, Wis.).
The Gustavus men’s tennis team finished the 9-0 in the MIAC, securing its 25th consecutive MIAC Championship. The Gusties then defeated Saint John’s 5-0 and Carleton 8-1 on the way to an MIAC Playoff Championship, earning the league’s automatic berth into the 2013 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament. Gustavus recorded its second straight 20-win season under Head Coach Tommy Valentini and will now go into the NCAA Tournament with a record of 22-9.
Junior Marcel Gyswyt makes his first appearance on the All-Conference Team. Gyswyt finished the year with a 4-0 record against MIAC opponents, winning four straight singles matches in straight sets against Macalester, Hamline, Saint John’s, and Concordia.
Junior Grant Leisner earns All-MIAC honors in singles and doubles for the first time in his career as well. Displaying versatility throughout the season, Leisner logged matches at the No. 2, 3, and 4 singles spots. The junior went 4-0 against MIAC foes and is currently 15-10 on the year.
Teaming up with Leisner in doubles was Tyler Johnson, who earns a place on the All-Conference Doubles Team for the first time. Johnson, a three-time All-Conference performer in singles, went 5-0 in league play alongside Leisner at the No. 2 position. Overall, Johnson and Leisner are a combined 21-9. The senior was also named the MIAC Men’s Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week on Feb. 19 after not losing a single point in three straight matches over one weekend.
Joey MacGibbon makes his second consecutive appearance on the All-Conference singles team after taking home the honor as a sophomore last season. MacGibbon went 5-0 against MIAC foes and is currently 15-10 overall.
Rounding out the group of Gusties earning All-MIAC accolades for their play in singles was Mya Smith-Dennis. The Gustavus April Student-Athlete-of-the-Month and two-time MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week garners the honor in singles and doubles for the second consecutive season. Smith-Dennis went 5-0 in singles and 6-0 in doubles against league competitors. Recently selected to the NCAA Doubles Tournament alongside partner Amrik Donkena (Sr., Rochester, Minn.), Smith-Dennis heads to the NCAA Regional at 19-12 overall and 21-8 in the MIAC.
Rounding out the list of All-Conference performers for Gustavus was Motasem Al-Houni. In his second year in the program, Al-Houni achieves All-Conference marks in doubles after an unbeaten sophomore campaign. Playing beside Juan Luis Chu (Lima, Peru) for three matches and Brad Entwistle (Sioux Falls, S.D.) for another three, the sophomore went 6-0 in league play. He is currently 14-5 in doubles this season.
As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the seventh annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for men’s tennis. Gustavus’s representative on this year’s team is senior Tyler Johnson. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.