Men’s Tennis Drops ITA Indoor Opening Match to No. 1 Emory

Posted on February 21st, 2020 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. – No. 20 Gustavus men’s tennis had an uphill battle Friday night at the Swanson Tennis Center being matched up against the defending national champion Emory and suffered a 7-2 loss to open the ITA Division III National Team Indoor Championship. The Gusties drop to 3-1 while the Eagles improve to 2-0. Gustavus will face Washington University at 7 p.m. Saturday in the consolation semifinals. Emory advances to take on Brandeis University in the semifinals at noon Saturday.

In the other three opening round matchups, Chicago defeated Kenyon 5-4, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps topped Case Western Reserve 6-3, and Brandeis beat WashU 7-2.

“The guys competed extremely well tonight,” Head Coach Tommy Valentini said. “It was an electric atmosphere all night – especially in the doubles. It was a special match to be a part of, and I thought our guys handled the moment very well.

“We had great energy in the doubles. Emory played a great match at No. 1 against Nick and Yassine. At No. 3 we had a few really good looks at it with a new team for us there in Xavier and Alex. They fought beautifully, and will continue to grow from this one. Michael and Daniel were terrific at No. 2. They were outstanding in all facets tonight and gave us a huge lift with a great performance. We faced a very tough opponent in singles, but I was pleased with how well our guys focused on what we could control, and never gave in. The guys supported each other beautifully, and for Oscar to come back and pull that match out was huge for him and our group. We showed a lot of great signs tonight, and have a lot of good to build on.”


1. Hayden Cassone (EU) def. Yassine Derbani (GACM) 6-3, 7-6

2. Antonio Mora (EU) def. Nick Aney (GACM) 7-5, 6-2

3. Andrew Esses (EU) def. Indraneel Raut (GACM) 6-2, 6-4

4. Mark Sverdlov (EU) def. Michael O’Neil (GACM) 6-2, 6-4

5. Rex Serituk (EU) def. Daniel Fouchier (GACM) 6-2, 6-1

6. Oscar Wikstrom (GACM) def. Hassan Kenawi (EU) 1-6, 6-4, 7-5


1. Hayden Cassone/Antonio Mora (EU) def. Yassine Derbani/Nick Aney (GACM) 8-4

2. Michael O’Neil/Daniel Fouchier (GACM) def. Will Wanner/Mark Sverdlov (EU) 8-3

3. Andrew Esses/Hassan Kenawi (EU) def. Xavier Sanga/Alex Budde (GACM) 8-4

“The key for us now is to prepare as best we can to enjoy another great opportunity and series of challenges tomorrow night,” Valentini said. “Also, we want to extend a massive thanks to all of the alumni, family, and fans who came out to support us tonight. Like I said, it was an incredibly special atmosphere and we are thankful to have been a part of it.”

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