Men’s Tennis Advances To NCAA Regional Final With 5-2 Win Over No. 34 Coe

Posted on May 14th, 2016 by

Andres Saenz earned the fifth and deciding point for the Gusties in Saturday's regional semifinal.

Gustavus 5, Coe 2 (Box)

CHICAGO – The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s tennis team earned a 5-2 victory over No. 34 Coe College in the second round of the NCAA Championships that was played Saturday afternoon at the Stagg Field Tennis Courts on the campus of the University of Chicago. With the win, the Gusties improve to 24-7 overall and advance to tomorrow’s regional final against No. 8-ranked University of Chicago.

“It was a great team win for our guys today,” said Coach Tommy Valentini. “The conditions were tough and Coe is a strong team that played a very good match.”

The No. 18-ranked Gusties began Saturday’s match by winning two out of three doubles matches, including the pairs of Mohanad Alhouni/Andres Saenz at the first spot and Zach Ekstein/Tommy Entwistle at the second. Alhouni and Saenz cruised to an 8-2 victory, while Ekstein and Entwistle were 8-6 winners to help the Gusties go into singles with a 2-1 advantage.

“Mohanad and Andres played very well to get us to 1-0 and Zach and Tommy showed great poise to get us a 2-1 lead coming out of doubles,” said Valentini.

In singles, Ekstein was first off the court and gave himself a perfect 2-0 record on the day by taking a convincing 6-1, 6-1 win over the Kohawks’ Alex Bernt at the third spot. Mitch Elofson fell at the No. 4 position moments later, but first-year Patrick Whaling picked up Gustavus’ fourth point with a 6-1, 6-4 win at the sixth position.

Alhouni, Saenz, and Entwistle each went into third sets at the No. 1, 2, and 5 positions, respectively, and it was Saenz that eventually gave the Gusties their fifth point to end the match. The senior out of Cancun split his first two sets with Riley Galbraith 6-2, 3-6 before taking the third by a final score of 6-2, leaving the No. 1 and 5 positions unfinished.

“Ekstein and Whaling played solid tennis to put us in a winning position, and with three three-setters on, our guys stayed calm and Andres was able to score the fifth point with a great third set,” said Valentini. “The guys showed a lot of heart today, and we look forward to a great match in an exciting situation tomorrow.”

Now, the Gusties turn their attention to the eighth-ranked Maroons in tomorrow’s noon regional final. Chicago defeated Gustavus 7-2 on April 16, with the Gusties’ two victories coming in doubles before the Maroons swept each of the six singles matches. However, the Black and Gold forced Chicago into three third sets in singles and played that match without Whaling, who is now 3-0 since being moved regularly into the singles lineup on May 6. Live results will again be available for tomorrow’s match.

Regional Website | Interactice NCAA Bracket (Full) | Gustavus Men’s Tennis Homepage

 

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