All-Gustie Singles Final Caps Off ITA Men’s Tennis Midwest Regional Posted on October 3rd, 2016 by


ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s tennis team hosted the 2016 ITA Midwest Regional and Midwest Open tournaments from Friday through Monday. The Gustie’s own Mohanad Alhouni (Jr., Tripoli, Libya) was crowned the ITA singles champion after defeating his doubles teammate, Patrick Whaling (So., Manikob Sabot, Va.).

Alhouni (right) and Whaling embrace following the singles final.

Alhouni and Whaling embrace following the singles final.

The ITA tournament wrapped up Monday afternoon with an All-Gustie singles final. Alhouni prevailed by scores of 6-2, 6-2 past Whaling. Alhouni and Whaling were also doubles teammates throughout the tournament and made it all the way to the semifinals on Sunday.

“Playing your teammate is always nerv-racking, but I thought we both handled it well,” said Alhouni. “We both played at a professional level and both focused on things within our control. Patrick did a great job, especially after playing with him yesterday. It was long after playing the singles matches and the doubles semifinals. I’m really proud of Patrick, he’s came a long way from last year. For me to play against him was an honor and it turned out to be a good tournament overall.”

Alhouni took down seven opponents to grab the singles title, cruising past competitors in just two sets in all but one match. Whaling posted a record of 6-1 in the 128-player singles draw, claiming the runner-up spot.

“To wind up with the last two guys in the singles draw is quite an accomplishment,” said Head Coach Tommy Valentini. “I think it says a lot about these two, and the rest of our guys as well. Great performance in the singles by not only Mohanad and Patrick, our entire group made a real impact. It’s always tough for these guys to have to play each other in a match of this caliber, but you’re also fortunate and greatful that you have two of your guys in that situation.” 

Mohanad Alhouni

Mohanad Alhouni

Luke Elifson and Marty Beck of the University of St. Thomas took home the ITA Regional Doubles Championship, defeating Herman Abban and Pawel Jaworski of Carthage College by scores of 7-5, 7-6.

Two Gusite duos made their way to the ITA doubles semifinals. Tommy Entwislte (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Zach Ekstein (Jr., Eagan, Minn.) fell to Abban/Jaworski of Carthage by a score of 4-8. Elifson and Beck defeated Alhouni and Whaling by a score of 9-8.

“There were some outstanding teams in the field. I thought we made great strides but we have a lot to work on heading into the spring. This group has been up to the challenge and we made some good progress this weekend. Zach (Ekstein) and Tommy (Entwistle) have been very consistent for us over the last year and a half. They ran into the pair from Carthage that played some outstanding tennis and got hot at the right time,” Valentini commented.

In the Midwest Open, the pair of Zeke Haugen (Fy., St. Peter, Minn.) and Alex Senjem (So., Rochester, Minn.) made it to the doubles finals before falling to Hunter Fernelius and Henry Morris of Bethel University by scores of 6-1, 3-6, 2-10.

“Having two semifinalists in the ITA Regionals and a finalist in the Midwest Open was a neat accomplishment. I think our doubles teams made some really good progress, so there was a lot to be thankful for” said Valentini.

As the singles champion, Alhouni advances to the ITA National Small College Championships. The National Small College Championships are comprised of the eight regional champions (and/or at-large selections) from NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA, and junior/community colleges. Over 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior and Community Colleges compete at one of the 84 USTA/ITA Regional Championships held across the country.


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