Men’s Tennis Takes Seventh at ITA Indoors in Dramatic Fashion

Posted on February 23rd, 2020 by

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SAINT PETER, Minn. – Oscar Wikström’s (Fy., Hunnebostrand, Sweden) third set breaker victory propelled No. 20 Gustavus men’s tennis to a dramatic 5-4 win over No. 11 Kenyon in the seventh place match of the ITA DIII National Team Indoor Championship on Sunday. The Gusties are now 4-2 overall, while the Lords drop to 4-3.

Gustavus started strong with victories at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles to take a 2-1 lead into singles. The Lords took a 3-2 advantage with wins at Nos. 1 and 5 singles. Indraneel Raut (So., Oshkosh, Wis.) tied the match at 3-3 with a straight set win at No. 3, but the Lords once again jumped in front with a victory at No. 4. Nick Aney (So., Rochester) claimed a three-set victory at No. 2, setting the stage for Wikström’s thrilling match at No. 6.

“Today was an incredible performance by our entire group,” Head Coach Tommy Valentini said. “To bounce back after last night’s tough match on short rest and be ready to play with energy and come out firing in the doubles was fantastic. We played very well at one and two to get out to the lead, and had a great look at the sweep. Xavier and Alex played solid to get into a winning position, but hats off to Kenyon for staying close and coming through at the end. Losing some momentum there could have put us in a tough spot, but our guys stayed composed and present.

“After losing five first sets [in singles], we again had to keep believing and stay together to give ourselves a look at it. Yassine competed very well to stay in his match against one of the best in the nation, and we also got a good lift from Michael winning his second set. Indraneel put on a first-class performance to get us back on the board in the singles and slow them down a bit. From there, Nicky was able to stay poised and handled the moment beautifully – trusting his game and staying aggressive against an experienced and tough opponent to win 7-6 in third. 

“And what can we say about Oscar? He loved the big moments all weekend, and showed great competitive maturity to hang in there and win 7-6 in the third for the match. It was a great moment for him and our entire team. They all had an important role all weekend and especially in this one today. Obviously the line between winning and losing was razor thin today, but I would have been just as proud of our team if it had gone the other way because of how we stuck together, stayed positive and represented our program and values. We have lots of work to do moving forward, but we’ll certainly enjoy this one and use it to build trust. A huge thanks to all of our Gustie staff, trainers, sports info team, and our fans and supporters, as well as the ITA for helping us host a great National Indoor. It was an honor to have the 20th anniversary National Team Indoor here at Gustavus and the Swanson Center.”

Singles

1. Jacob Zalenski (KENM) def. Yassine Derbani (GACM) 6-4, 7-6
2. Nick Aney (GACM) def. Austin Diehl (KENM) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6
3. Indraneel Raut (GACM) def. Pascal Lee (KENM) 6-3, 6-3
4. Thomas Kallarakal (KENM) def. Michael O’Neil (GACM) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
5. Bryan Yoshino (KENM) def. Daniel Fouchier (GACM) 6-0, 6-3
6. Oscar Wikstrom (GACM) def. Evan Dean (KENM) 4-6, 7-6, 7-6

Doubles

1. Yassine Derbani/Nick Aney (GACM) def. Austin Diehl/Jacob Zalenski (KENM) 8-6
2. Michael O’Neil/Daniel Fouchier (GACM) def. Henry Wessel/Angelo Vidal (KENM) 8-1
3. Bryan Yoshino/Pascal Lee (KENM) def. Alex Budde/Xavier Sanga (GACM) 8-7 (7-1)

The Gusties next host Grinnell and Augustana on Saturday.

 


One Comment

  1. gretchen Koehler says:

    why to go gusties

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