After picking up a pair of convincing wins over No. 28 MIT (8-1) and Curry College (9-01) to begin its spring training trip to Greater Boston, the Gustavus men’s tennis team pulled out a couple of nail biters on two different campuses Wednesday afternoon. The Gusties took down Tufts University – an NCAA Division III member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference – by the score of 5-4 in Medford, Mass., and also defeated Stonehill College – an NCAA Division II institution belonging to the Northeast-10 Conference – by an identical score of 5-4 in Easton, Mass.
With four wins on the east coast so, Gustavus extends its winning-streak to eight matches. The No. 18 Gusties will head into the remainder of their trip with a record of 21-3. Head Coach Tommy Valentini’s squad will have Thursday off before battling No. 10 Middlebury College on Friday, April 4 at 2:00 p.m. (CST) in Middlebury, Vt. The Black and Gold will then conclude the trip on Saturday, April 5 with a match against No. 4 Amherst College at 1:00 p.m. (CST) in Amherst, Mass.
Against Tufts, Gustavus found itself down 2-1 following doubles. Mya Smith-Dennis (Sr., Savage, Minn.) and Motasem Al-Houni (Jr., Tripoli, Libya) provided the lone doubles win by taking down Brian Tan and Matt Pataro 8-2 at the No. 1 spot.
The Gusties battled back in singles and earned the one point victory thanks to a win at No. 1 and a sweep of the bottom three positions. The match was tied 4-4 with just Juan Luis Chu (Sr., Lima, Peru) left to play in singles. Gustavus’s Smith-Dennis and Grant Leisner (Sr., Andover, Minn.) fell at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively, but Joey MacGibbon (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn.) won 7-6, 7-5 at No. 4, Al-Houni won 6-2, 6-3 at No. 5, and Brad Entwistle (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 6. Chu outlasted Rob Jacobson in a three-set fight at the top singles position, winning 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 to give Gustavus the 5-4 victory.
The Gusties took two of the three doubles points from Stonehill. Bryan Miles (Sr., Wausau, Wis.) and Logan Peterson (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) won 8-2 at No. 1, and Mitchell Elofson (So., St. Peter, Minn.) and David Brown (So., Oakland, Calif.) won 8-6 at No. 3.
Gustavus got the three points it needed for a win from three of the four players who contributed to the team’s doubles points. Peterson defeated Eric Ringstand 6-7, 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2, Elofson topped Philip Klados 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3, and Brown cruised by Brett Armstrong 6-1, 6-3 at No. 5.