St. Peter, Minn. – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis team is set to take on UW-Whitewater in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament on Saturday, May 10 at 11:00 a.m. at the Brown Outdoor Tennis Complex.
Gustavus was named the host institution for one of the eight NCAA Regionals taking place across the country from May 8-11. Action at the Gustavus regional will begin on Friday, May 9 with a match between Grinnell College and Wisconsin Lutheran College at 3:00 p.m. The winner of that match will face Trinity University at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday following Gustavus’s match against UW-Whitewater.
The Gusties enter the NCAA Tournament with an overall record of 28-5. Head Coach Tommy Valentini guided the Black and Gold to a 26th straight MIAC Championship and a fourth consecutive MIAC Playoff title earlier this season. Valentini – who was recently named the MIAC Steve Wilkinson Coach-of-the-Year – has reached the 20-win mark three straight years and has already bested his career-best win-total with 28 victories this season.
The UW-Whitewater men’s tennis team heads into NCAA postseason play with an overall record of 20-7 after earning an at-large bid into the national tournament.
According to the most recent ITA Division IIII rankings, Gustavus ranks fourth in the central region, while UW-Whitewater ranks seventh. The Gusties also moved up in the national rankings to No. 14, jumping one place from their previous No. 15 ranking on April 10.
Saturday’s match will be the second meeting between the Gusties and Warhawks this season after having met on a neutral site at the Pleasant Valley Tennis & Fitness Club in Jackson, Wisconsin on March 2. The Gusties won that contest by the score of 7-2 after sweeping doubles and picking up singles wins at the No. 3, 4, 5, and 6 spots.
Gustavus is making its 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1983. With an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 46-31, the Golden Gusties have finished runner-up twice, third three times, and fourth five times in their previous 26 showings under the current “true team” format. Prior to 1983, Gustavus won NCAA Championships in 1980 and 1982 when champions were based on individual scoring at the NCAA Tournament. In all, Gustavus has earned a trip the NCAA’s postseason tournament a total of 30 times in school history.
UW-Whitewater will make the program’s eighth consecutive and all-time appearance in the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Tournament this weekend. In their prior seven trips, the Warhawks have compiled a record of 6-7.
These two teams met in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season in the regional held at UW-Whitewater in Whitewater, Wisconsin. After the Warhawks took a 2-1 lead with wins at No. 2 and 3 doubles, Gustavus came roaring back with four wins in singles. Current Gusties Mya Smith-Dennis (Sr., Savage, Minn.), Grant Leisner (Sr., Andover, Minn.), Joey MacGibbon (Sr., Apple Valley, Minn.), and Brad Entwistle (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) all recorded singles wins to help Gustavus come from behind and win the match.
Gustavus has set up website dedicated to the NCAA Regional containing schedules, links and information on each of the six teams in the field. Throughout the tournament, the website will be updated with scores, live results, updated schedules, pictures, and recaps.