Men’s Tennis Wins Eighth-Straight MIAC Playoff Championship

Posted on May 6th, 2018 by

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ST. PETER, Minn. – For the eighth-straight season, the Gustavus men’s tennis team is the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoff champion. The top-ranked team in the Central Region and No. 6 in the national poll, Gustavus on Sunday defeated Carleton 5-3 to secure the MIAC’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA Championships. The Gusties (23-8), who claimed their 11th overall league playoff title, will find out who and where they will play in the regional round Monday afternoon. Gustavus is making its 31st appearance at the NCAA Championships, where it holds 51-35 all-time record and two national titles (1980, 1982).

Sunday’s victory did not come easy as the Gusties had to battle back from a 2-1 deficit after doubles play. Straight-set wins at Nos. 3 and 4 singles gave the Black and Gold a 3-2 lead, which was followed by wins at No. 6 and the clincher at No. 2.

“The guys showed great belief and poise today,” Head Coach Tommy Valentini said. “Carleton is an excellent team. They are well coached and first class guys. They played a fantastic match and they were great in the doubles. Tommy and Chase were outstanding and showed grit and determination to get us on the board. In the singles the guys stuck together and handled the pressure beautifully. Patrick and Chase were fantastic to get the second and third points, and some momentum for us. Michael stepped in and handled the moment very well, and we were fortunate to have Zach there again in the big moment with the team match on the line. He was brilliant again against a very tough opponent. It was a total team effort from all of our guys. We’re grateful for the result, and that we get to continue on as a team into the NCAA tournament.”

Gustavus 5, Carleton 3

Chase Johnson celebrates a victory at No. 2 doubles.

Singles

  1. Mohanad Alhouni (Sr., Tripoli, Libya) (GACM) vs. Leo Vithoontien (CAR) 6-4, 5-6, unfinished
  2. Zach Ekstein (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) (GACM) def. Kevin Mei (CAR) 7-5, 6-3
  3. Patrick Whaling (Jr., Manakin Sabot, Va.) (GACM) def. Jordon O’Kelly (CAR) 6-1, 6-1
  4. Chase Johnson (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) (GACM) def. Andrew Qi (CAR) 6-2, 6-1
  5. Aaron Goodman (CAR) def. Yassine Derbani (So., Casablanca, Morocco) (GACM) 6-1, 1-6, 6-4
  6. Michael O’Neil (So., Edina, Minn.) (GACM) def. Sahil Chhugani (CAR) 6-4, 6-2

Doubles

  1. Jordon O’Kelly/Leo Vithoontien (CAR) def. Mohanad Alhouni/Patrick Whaling (GACM) 8-2
  2. Tommy Entwistle (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.)/Chase Johnson (GACM) def. Kevin Mei/Aaron Goodman (CAR) 8-6
  3. Kevin Hurley/Xander Zuczek (CAR) def. Zach Ekstein/Mason Bultje (Sr., Mankato, Minn.) (GACM) 8-4
 

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