Men’s Tennis Splits With No. 6 Case Western, No. 26 Texas-Tyler

Posted on March 12th, 2016 by

Zach Ekstein had himself a day on Saturday, going 3-1, including a three-set thriller in a 5-4 team win over UT-Tyler.

Zach Ekstein had himself a day Saturday, going 3-1, including a three-set thriller in a 5-4 team win over UT-Tyler.

Case Western Reserve 6, Gustavus 3 | Gustavus 5, UT-Tyler 4

POMONA, Calif. – The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s tennis team continued its string of competition against nationally-ranked opponents on Saturday, splitting matches with No. 6 Case Western Reserve and No. 26 University of Texas at Tyler. The Gusties fell to Case 6-3 on Saturday morning before taking down UT-Tyler 5-4 later Saturday afternoon. The split brings the Gusties to 12-3 overall and concludes their competition in the Stag-Hen Invite being played at Claremont-Mudd Scripps.

“It was an incredible team effort from our guys today,” said Coach Tommy Valentini. “They responded beautifully to adversity all day long. Down 2-1 after doubles and 4-1 overall against UT-Tyler, the guys continued to believe and trust each other. They were resilient and poised in the big moments, and stuck together. The match certainly could have gone either way, and we feel very fortunate to come through in the end and that the effort and belief was rewarded with a great result.”

The Gusties began their morning with Case, taking a doubles match and two in singles. Zach Ekstein (So., Eagan, Minn.)/Tommy Entwistle (So., Sioux Falls, S.D.) earned the Black and Gold’s lone doubles point with an 8-6 win at No. 2. In singles, Mohaned Alhouni (So., Tripoli, Libya) continued his stellar play of late with a 6-4, 6-2 win over 26th-ranked CJ Krimbill at the first spot. Ekstein provided the Gusties’ other singles victory with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 decision at the third position.

Gustavus turned its fortunes around with a thrilling 5-4 win over UT-Tyler. With only Alhouni/Andres Saenz (Sr., Cancun, Mexico) winning in doubles (an 8-1 victory at the first position), the Gusties needed four singles wins to clinch a victory over the Patriots. They got them, with Alhouni, Saenz, Ekstein, and Gabe Steinwand (So., Moorhead, Minn.) each taking home three-set victories at the first, second, third, and sixth spots, respectively. Alhouni defeated 21st-ranked Daniel Budd 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, Saenz took down 43rd-ranked Arthur Fagundes 6-7, 6-4, 6-2, Ekstein earned a 6-1, 6-7, 7-5 win over Joey Fischer, and Steinwand was victorious over Cameron McCarthy 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

“We’re thankful for the Stag-Hen experience and we’ll look to continue improving in the coming weeks leading up to our spring trip,” concluded Valentini.

Gustavus plays again next Saturday with a match against Division II St. Cloud State in Sartell, Minn. That match is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.


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