ALhouni, Saenz Eliminated From NCAA Doubles Tournament

Posted on May 22nd, 2015 by

Senior Motasem ALhouni saw his Gustavus career come to an end in the NCAA Doubles Quarterfinals on Friday

MASON, OHIO – The Gustavus Adolphus men’s tennis doubles team of Motasem ALhouni (Sr., Tripoli, Libya) and Andres Saenz (So., Cancun, Mexico) was defeated in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Individual Doubles Tournament played at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on Friday afternoon. ALhouni and Saenz fell to Robert Kjellberg and Sebastian Sikh of North Carolina Wesleyan College by a final score of 6-2, 6-4, ending the duo’s 2014-15 season.

After earning a come-from-behind victory over Kaylan Chadalavada and Connor Hudson of Pomona College in yesterday’s opening round, ALhouni and Saenz could not conjure the same magic on Friday. After dropping its first set 6-2, the Gustie pair managed to keep the second close, but could not break free and eventually fell by a 6-4 score.

“It’s tough to see a promising run come to an end, but I was really proud of the way Mota and Andres competed today,” said head coach Tommy Valentini. “Credit has to be given to the North Carolina Wesleyan team…they came up with some big shots in key moments. We had them pushed to the brink and had a number of opportunities, including six break points when we were down 4-5 in that second set. I was proud of the poise Mota and Andres showed, especially at this stage of the national tournament, however, the margins are so slim when you’re playing against such good competition. I’m proud of the way they handled the moment and trusted each other and their game plan.”

“This was a heck of a run all fall and spring in what was really an outstanding doubles team for us,” added Valentini. “Mota and Andres were a great combo in terms of game style and personalities. Getting back into the individual doubles tournament was a fantastic achievement for them and our program.”

The match not only marked the final match of the season for ALhouni, but also the last of his four-year tenure as a Gustie. The senior will leave Gustavus with an all-time record of 65-23 in singles and 66-23 in doubles.

“In thinking about Mota’s career coming to an end…after winning the ITA’s Most Improved Senior Player-of-the-Year Award and just thinking about the improvements he’s made in general over his entire career, it’s really remarkable how far he’s come,” said Valentini. “He’s bought in to the Gustavus way of playing and competing and I couldn’t be prouder of how far he’s come on this journey. I’m thankful he had the chance to play in this national event to conclude his senior year and again, I’m very proud of what he and Andres accomplished during their time here.”


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