O’Neil/Fouchier Win ITA Regional Doubles Title, Raut Makes Singles Championship Match

Posted on September 29th, 2019 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. – Michael O’Neil and Daniel Fouchier fought back from a first set loss Sunday to win the ITA Midwest Regional Doubles Championship at the Swanson Tennis Center. The third-seeded Gustie duo beat fifth-seeded Cole Schneider and Nyathi Motlojoa of Luther 3-6, 6-3, 10-2 for the championship and recognition as All-Americans.

O’Neil and Fouchier advanced to the title match with an 8-2 win over Leo Vithoontien and Varyn Iyer of Carleton. The Gusties broke at love in the first game and then hit their stride en route to the decisive victory.

In singles play, five of the eight quarterfinalists were Gusties. Indraneel Raut had to most success of the five by advancing to the championship match. Raut beat Iyer 6-3, 6-2 in the quarters and then topped teammate Yassine Derbani 6-3, ret. to move on to the final. Nick Aney made it to the semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over teammate Fouchier but then lost 6-4, 6-3 to Vithoontien.

The singles championship features the ninth seed Raut vs. top seed Vithoontien at 10 a.m. Monday.

“Today was a special day for our program,” Head Coach Tommy Valentini said. “To have five singles players in the quarters and advance three to semifinals was a great result, but how we got there is what stands out. Aney and Fouchier played a solid match against each other with Aney coming through. Mike O’Neil played Vithoontien very tough, and Raut was excellent in his quarter also against Carleton to come through in straight sets. The key match was the effort Yassine Derbani put together with a number of injuries to come back and beat a strong opponent from Luther in a gutsy and mature three-set effort. He was brilliant and really exemplified our team’s values in the process. Unfortunately, he was only physically able to go one set against Neel in the semifinals. Nick Aney played a great tactical and mental match against Vithoontien, and came up just short.

“We look forward to the opportunity Neel has tomorrow, and we know he will bring his best effort against a top caliber opponent. We were also thrilled to move Zeke Haugen and Federico Fiorda into the semifinals and of the Midwest Open with Federico making the final there in his first weekend of college tennis. He played with great energy and passion all weekend long.

“In doubles, O’Neil and Fouchier were electric against Carleton in the semis. They were extremely positive and executed their game plan very well. In the final, they showed tremendous trust and character to hang in there from a set down against a Luther team that was playing beautifully. Once we split sets and got to the match tie-break, they were able to embrace the moment, play free and trust each other and their plan. They played near flawless tennis in the end, and I could not be happier for them or prouder of them. Their performance was certainly worthy of All-American status, and was special to be a part of. We look forward to getting the rest and prepare for a great tournament at the ITA Cup in a few weeks time.

“Overall, our team was great all weekend. We made very good progress in terms of our approach and our understanding of who we are and where we want to go, and we will set our sights on supporting Neel tomorrow, and then using what we learned this weekend to keep growing.”


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