Men’s Tennis Falls to Chicago in Region Title Match

Posted on May 12th, 2019 by

The Gusties had some exciting moments against Chicago but were unable to come out on top. (photo courtesy of University of Chicago Sports Information)

CHICAGO, Ill. – The No. 16 Gustavus men’s tennis team’s season came to a close on Sunday in the NCAA region championship with a 5-2 loss to No. 2 Chicago. The Maroons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in doubles and were able to secure the match with a pair of singles victories.

The Gusties did not go down without a fight as Indraneel Raut won his No. 6 singles match in straight sets and Chase Johnson fought back after dropping the first set at No. 2 to win in three. Patrick Whaling and Nick Aney were still battling in their third and second sets, respectively, when the match was decided.

“I’ve never been more proud of a team than I am of this one today,” Head Coach Tommy Valentini said. “Chicago played well in the doubles, but we still had good looks at it on all three courts. We just couldn’t catch a bounce in the doubles. Down 0-3 the guys came out in singles and competed at an incredible level. They stayed positive and present and never gave in. A group with lesser character would have folded in that situation against an opponent of this caliber. We were absolutely warriors up and down the line. Neel Raut was brilliant in every phase of the game at 6, and Chase Johnson put together a vintage performance coming back from a set down to beat an All-American singles player convincingly in the last 2 sets. The Chicago guys played extremely well against Michael and Yassine to score there. We were in great position with Patrick having played a composed and excellent match to lead 4-0 in the third, and Nick serving for the match after a great tactical match at five. I just can’t say enough about the heart and strength of this group. They were a few inches away from the result we hoped for today, but they were successful at the highest level and in living out our values. Our seniors were absolutely amazing today and all season. They led this group beautifully all year, and have gotten so much out of their games and taken our program and team culture to incredible heights. We will be grateful to stand on their shoulders moving forward.”

Singles

  1. Kerrigan, Erik (UCM) vs. Patrick Whaling (GACM) 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 0-4, unfinished
  2. Chase Johnson (GACM) def. Yuan, Jeremy (UCM) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
  3. Pei, Charlie (UCM) def. Yassine Derbani (GACM) 6-1, 6-2
  4. Xu, Joshua (UCM) def. Michael O’Neil (GACM) 7-5, 6-2
  5. Rodriguez, Alejandro (UCM) vs. Nick Aney (GACM) 6-7 (5-7), 4-5, unfinished
  6. Indraneel Raut (GACM) def. Guzhva, Alex (UCM) 6-4, 6-2

Doubles

  1. Kerrigan, Erik/Kumar, Ninan (UCM) def. Patrick Whaling/Chase Johnson (GACM) 8-4
  2. Pei, Charlie/Xu, Joshua (UCM) def. Yassine Derbani/Nick Aney (GACM) 8-7 (8-6)
  3. Raclin, Tyler/Yuan, Jeremy (UCM) def. Michael O’Neil/Xavier Sanga (GACM) 8-6

The Gusties finish the 2019 season 20-8 overall. Whaling and Johnson will continue play at the NCAA individual championships May 24-26 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich. Whaling will compete in singles and then team up with Johnson for doubles.

 

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