Three Men’s Tennis Players Set To Compete At NCAA Championships

Posted on May 20th, 2015 by

Mohanad Al-Houni, Motasem Al-Houni, and Andres Saenz will compete at the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles and Doubles Championships this weekend in Mason, Ohio.

St. Peter, Minn. – A trio of Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis players will compete on the national stage later this week as the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Committee has selected the individuals who will make up the singles and doubles competition of the 2015 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Championships. Freshman Mohanad Al-Houni (Tripoli, Libya) will compete in the singles tournament, while Motasem Al-Houni (Tripoli, Libya) and Andres Saenz (So., Cancun, Mexico) will represent Gustavus in the doubles tournament.

The individual championships shall consist of 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams.  The selection of teams and individuals for the championships is based on win-lost record, strength of schedule, and eligibility and availability of student-athletes. The team championship will take place May 18-20, and the individual championships May 21-23, both at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.

At 20-6 in singles, Mohanad Al-Houni enters the singles bracket as the No. 8-ranked player in the most recent central region rankings put out by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) on April 30. A finalist for Gustavus Newcomer-of-the-Year and Athlete-of-the-Year, Mohanad looks to bounce back from what was his first loss in six matches; a 6-3, 6-4 defeat suffered at the hands of Nicolas Chua (No. 2 in Central Region) in Gustavus’s season-finale against Chicago on May 10 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Since moving to the top spot in Head Coach Tommy Valentini’s lineup, Mohanad has compiled a record of 8-3 with three playoff matches going unfinished because of decision wins by the Gusties. In dual matches against teams ranked inside the top 25 in the country, Mohanad holds a mark of 6-3.

The doubles team of Motasem Al-Houni and Andres Saenz has solidified itself as one of the top tandems in the region and will now look to make an impact under the bright lights of the NCAA Championships. This is the same duo that earned All-America status by winning the 2014 USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Doubles Championship in the fall. They went on to compete in the National Small College Championships where they went 1-2 with a win over Johns Hopkins, and losses to Stevens and Emory. Motasem and Saenz are the No. 1-ranked doubles team in the central region and boast an overall record of 26-8 together. The All-Conference twosome has played every contest together this season, has been a staple at the No. 1 spot since the start of the year, and enters the NCAA Tournament winners of nine of their last tenmatches. In Gustavus’s NCAA Tournament run, Motasem and Saenz fell to Jake Humphreys and Ben Shklyar of UW-Whitewater 8-6, and defeated Ankur Bhargava and Deepak Sabada of Chicago 8-6.

The Intercollegiate Tennis Association also announced its national award winners for Division III men’s and women’s tennis on Wednesday afternoon. As a part of the ITA’s postseason national honors, senior Motasem Al-Houni as named the Most Improved Player of the Year.

Mohanad, Motasem, and Saenz are the first Gusties to compete in the individual and doubles championships since Amrik Donkena ’13 and Mya Smith-Dennis ’14 did so in 2013.

The draw for the individual championship will be done by the men’s tennis committee and will be released on the last day of the team championship.  For more detailed information about the NCAA Championships, Ohio Northern University has set up a website detailing men’s and women’s qualifiers, a schedule of events, box scores, ticket information, maps, lodging information, and live broadcast links.

NCAA Release

 

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