Middlebury, Vt. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis team suffered the first loss of its trip to the east coast in nailbiting fashion on Friday afternoon against No. 10 Middlebury College. Playing indoors at the Duke Nelson Recreational Center because of rain throughout the region, the Panthers picked up two wins in doubles before taking the match 5-4 with three wins in singles. Middlebury improves to 9-2 with the win. Gustavus sees its eight-match winning-streak come to an end and is now 21-4 following the loss.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead after wins at the No. 2 and 3 doubles positions. Mya Smith-Dennis (Sr., Savage, Minn.) and Motasam Al-Houni (Jr., Tripoli, Libya) earned the lone doubles point for the Black and Gold after taking down Alex Johnston and Andrew Lebovitz 8-6 at No. 1.
Middlebury did what it had to in singles with three points after sweeping the top three positions. Johnston defeated Juan Luis Chu (Sr., Lima, Peru) in straight sets (6-1, 6-3) at No. 1, Palmer Campbell defeated Smith-Dennis in three (6-4, 5-7, 6-3) at No. 2, and Brantner Jones battled back to edge Grant Leisner (Sr., Andover, Minn.) in three (4-6, 6-3, 6-4) at No. 3.
Gustavus’s bottom three singles players earned the team’s final points. Joey MacGibbon (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn.) beat Courtney Mountfield 7-5, 6-3 at No. 4, Al-Houini topped Ari Smolyar 3-6, 7-6, 10-8 at No. 5, and Brad Entwistle (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) defeated Jackson Frons 1-6, 6-4, 10-7 at No. 6.
The Gustavus men’s tennis team will put the finishing touch on its spring training trip to Greater Boston on Saturday, April 5 with a 1:00 p.m. (CST) match against No. 4 Amherst College.