Alhouni Claims Third Consecutive ITA Midwest Regional Singles Title

Posted on October 2nd, 2017 by

Zach Ekstein (left) and Mohanad Alhouni (right) with Head Coach Tommy Valentini


ST. PETER, Minn. – The 2017 ITA Midwest Regional Championships wrapped up on Monday, with Gustavus men’s tennis standout Mohanad Alhouni (Sr., Tripoli, Libya) earning his third singles title in a row at Swanson Tennis Center.

For the second-straight year, the ITA Midwest Regional Singles Championship was highlighted with an All-Gustie singles final. Alhouni defeated teammate Zach Ekstein (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) 6-2, 6-0 to earn his third singles All-America recognition.

“It was a special honor to have Mohanad and Zach play this final,” said Head Coach Tommy Valentini. “They are great teammates and friends and have meant the world to our program. Mohanad’s level was just too good today. He played beautifully. For Mohanad to win this title for a third time is an extraordinary accomplishment, and his matches against Gustie teammates in each of the last 3 rounds says a lot about all of our guys.”

The No. 1 seeded Alhouni first had to get by teammates Yassine Derbani (So., Casablanca, Morocco) and Chase Johnson (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) in the quarterfinal and semifinal round to reach the championship match against Ekstein.

“It feels pretty good, it was definitely a long weekend with a lot of tennis,” said Alhouni. “This tournament can be individual, but we were able to compete and support each whether we were on or off the court. Playing Yassine, Chase, and Zach today, it isn’t easy. It is nerv-racking but I think we handled it first-class. We were able to push each other and I am really grateful for that. I am looking forward to the spring season and obviously Georgia next week.”

After falling in the first round of the singles draws at the ITA Tournament last season, the No. 4 seeded Ekstein receives runner-up honors as he made his way all the way to the finals, including a 6-4, 6-2 semifinal victory over No. 2 seed Brady Anderson of Coe.

“Zach had a phenomenal tournament and continues to make great progress in his game,” Valentini said. “He is a first class competitor, leader and young man.”

Yesterday evening, Alhouni and doubles teammate Patrick Whaling (Jr., Manikob Sabot, Va.) took down Anderson and Ackert of Coe 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles championship. As the singles and doubles champion, Alhouni advances to the ITA Oracle Cup. Alhouni and Whaling will head south to Rome, Ga. Oct. 11-15, competing at Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.

“We are grateful to have come through in both singles and doubles and look forward to a great experience at the Oracle Cup with Patrick and Mohanad,” Valentini concluded.


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