Men’s Tennis Concludes Season With 5-2 Loss To No. 8 Chicago In Third Round of NCAA Championships

Posted on May 15th, 2016 by

Sunday's match marked the ends of the careers for Collin Shea, Mitch Elofson, JJ Janssen, Alex Smith, Andres Saenz, and David Brown.

Chicago 5, Gustavus 2 (Box)

CHICAGO – The Gustavus Adolphus College men’s tennis team concluded its 2015-16 season Sunday, suffering a 5-2 loss to No. 8-ranked University of Chicago in the third round of the NCAA Championships played at the Stagg Field Tennis Courts. The Gusties earned two out of three doubles matches before the Maroons were able to win four straight points in singles to clinch the match. This marks the second consecutive year that Chicago has eliminated Gustavus from postseason play.

Similar to its match with the Maroons in the regular season, the Gusties came out of the gates strong, taking two out of three doubles matches to take a 2-1 lead heading into singles play. Mohanad Alhouni and Andres Saenz were first off the court, taking an 8-2 win at the first position, and were followed by Zach Ekstein and Tommy Entwistle who earned an 8-6 win at the second spot. Mitch Elofson and David Hagberg put up a fight at No. 3, but eventually came up just short in an 8-5 loss.

Unfortunately for Gustavus, Chicago came out firing on all cylinders in singles, showing its No. 8 national ranking with four straight set singles victories. The Maroons took home wins at the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth singles positions to clinch the match and earn a trip to the NCAA Elite 8 for the second straight season.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our guys,” said Coach Tommy Valentini. “We knew we needed to come out flying in the doubles and we did just that. Andres and Mohanad put together another comprehensive match against a top national caliber opponent, and Zach and Tommy were outstanding tactically and intangibly at No. 2. We had a look at the sweep at the third spot and that could have made for a much different match – our guys fought to the end and competed for each other beautifully. Chicago is loaded and deep in the singles and hats off to them for playing a great match after we put them down 2-1. They will be a very tough out the rest of the tournament.”

The match also marks the end of the careers for seniors Elofson, David Brown, Collin Shea, JJ Janssen, and Alex Smith.

“Our seniors were truly phenomenal this weekend and this year,” said Valentini. “JJ and Alex smith came to play every single day and represent our family beautifully. Mitch was a rock for us at third doubles and played the best singles of his career in the second half of his senior season. Andres filled a huge hole at the top of our singles lineup with great success and has emerged as one of the top doubles players in all of Division III. They have been tremendous leaders and young men of the highest character. David and Collin suffered career ending injuries and went on to serve our team in assistant coaching roles. They have contributed immensely to this group. The love, support, dedication, and care they have shown their teammates, coaches, and program is nothing short of remarkable. This group of seniors has represented our program and our values with class and grace. We owe them all tremendous gratitude. We will certainly be standing on their shoulders as we begin to pursue our goals for next season. But first, we’re looking forward to continuing to get Mohanad and Andres prepared to represent our team at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships.”

Alhouni and Saenz will now represent the Gusties in the singles and doubles draws at the 2016 NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Individual Championships that take place May 26-28 in Kalamazoo, Mich.

 


One Comment

  1. Michele Pla says:

    Great year for the Gusties and great college career for the Seniors. How do we get copies of the wonder pic of the Seniors?