Men’s Tennis Opens Spring Season At Whitman College

Posted on February 2nd, 2017 by

ST. PETER, Minn. – The No. 20-ranked Gustavus men’s tennis team is set to begin its 2017 spring campaign this weekend with three matches in Walla Walla, Washington at Whitman College.

On Friday, the Gusties face off against Whitman College at 3:30 p.m. before taking on No. 9 Pomona-Pitzer and Pacific University Saturday at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Live video will be available throughout the weekend.

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The fall campaign was highlighted by the ITA Midwest Men’s Regional Championships, as the tournament was capped off by an All-Gustie Singles FinalMohanad Alhouni (Jr., Tripoli, Libya) was crowned the ITA singles champion after defeating his doubles teammate, Patrick Whaling (So., Manikob Sabot, Va.)Alhouni then went on to compete in the ITA Oracle Cup, coming away with a third place singles finish.

Head Coach Tommy Valentini is in his eighth season leading the Gusties in search for his eighth-straight MIAC Championship after guiding Gustavus to its 28th consecutive MIAC Championship last season as they were a perfect 9-0 in league play.

“We are very much looking forward to starting our season in Walla Walla,” Valentini said. “We’re thrilled to be here and grateful for the opportunity to be on the road together and to continue our process of growing as a team. The guys have prepared well the past few weeks, and are very excited to compete. We’ll need to lean on some of our experienced upperclassmen to help us stick to our game plan and to maintain our poise and composure when adversity comes from a challenging schedule and great competition from Whitman, Pomona-Pitzer, and Pacific.We’re going to learn a lot about our team in a hurry and we’re looking forward to embracing the experience out here.”

Along with the undefeated MIAC record and conference championship, the Gusties held a 25-8 overall record last spring season and also claimed their sixth consecutive MIAC Playoff Championship with a 5-0 win over Carleton College. Gustavus then went on to the NCAA Championships and defeated Coe College 5-2 before its season was ended in a 5-2 loss against the No. 8-ranked University of Chicago, finishing as the Central Region runner-up.

The Black and Gold return 13 letter winners from last season and welcome five newcomers. Top players returning include 2016 MIAC All-Conference honorees Alhouni, Zach Ekstein (Jr., Eagan, Minn.)Tommy Entwistle (Jr., Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Gabe Steinwand (Jr., Moorhead, Minn.).

Earlier this week the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference released the 2017 MIAC Men’s Tennis Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The MIAC Coaches unanimously voted the Gusties to finish in first place of 10 teams with nine first-place votes and 81 total points.

2017 MIAC Men’s Tennis Preview/Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Gustavus Links: Roster | Schedule

 

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