Men’s Tennis Falls 6-3 to Brandeis in ITA National Championships, Tops Northwestern at Home 9-0 Posted on February 26th, 2022 by

Photo Courtesy of Zach Pohlmann - ITA Championships

Written by David Youngs

The Gustie men kept the courts full on Saturday with a pair of evening matches spreading across the Midwest. Gustavus continued their 2022 ITA Indoor National Championships weekend against Brandeis while also hosting Northwestern (MN) at home. 

Brandeis 6, Gustavus 3

Cleveland, OHIO- Despite a hard fought spread of doubles matches and three singles wins, the Gusties fell just short to national powerhouse Brandeis on Saturday evening in Cleveland. 

Indraneel Raut (Sr., Oshkosh Wis.), Daniel Fouchier (Nootdorp, Netherlands), and Rafael Costa (Fy., Sao Paulo, Brazil) each tallied singles wins against the Judges. 

Gustavus fought hard in all three doubles matches. The No. 11 team in the nation of Nick Aney (Sr., Rochester) and Alex Budde (Jr., Menomonee Falls, Wis.) dropped a heartbreaker 8-7 (4) at No. 1 doubles to the same team that they played last season in the national semifinals. The No. 3 team of Josh Christensen (Fy., Rochester) and Drew Elofson (Sr., Saint Peter) played their opponents tough down to the wire in a an 8-5 loss. 

After being swept in doubles the Gusties came out with poise in singles, making each match competitive throughout the lineup. Fouchier won in straight sets at No. 3 singles for his second win of the season while Costa followed up with a straight-setter at No. 6 singles for his fourth win of the year. The newcomer has hit the ground running in his collegiate career, going undefeated so far in 2022. 

The highlight of the day for the Gusties came at No. 1 singles. A night after a disappointing loss to Case Western, Indraneel Raut was lights out from the baseline against Brandeis’ top player. In a battle at the baseline, Raut fought off a match point and used deep heavy forehands to outlast his opponent in a three-set thriller. 

Coaches Corner

A program that is deeply rooted in doubles, Gustavus Head Coach Tommy Valentini was impressed with the doubles play on both sides of the net. 

“We made very good progress tonight, Brandeis is talented and plays very strong doubles,” Valentini said. “Sourabh and Daniel ran into a buzz saw at No. 2 and Josh and Drew had their looks at No. 3, both teams played with great energy. Nick and Alex played a great match in a rematch of their national semi from last year.”

After playing two of their three matches on the weekend against some of the game’s best, Valentini appreciates the way his men competed and looks forward to tomorrow’s matchup against defending national champion Emory. 

“The quality was high again tonight and we got a bit unlucky on match point up,” he said. “Our guys showed a ton of heart throughout. After finding ourselves in a 3-0 hole, we put together a very courageous performance in singles and everyone stuck together and competed our way. We pulled out three gritty singles wins against top quality opponents and had our chances on every court. We learned a lot about our group and enjoyed the challenge. We have another exciting opportunity tomorrow and we’ll recover as best we can to be ready to embrace it.”

Gustavus 9, Northwestern 0 

Saint Peter, Minn. – The Gustie men protected their home turf with pride on Saturday evening with a 9-0 sweep of non-conference opponent Northwestern. 

Gustavus was dominant from the start, winning all three doubles matches by scores of 8-2, 8-2, and 8-1. That confidence translated to the singles court, with all six Gusties winning their matches in straight sets. 

The tightest match of the evening came at No. 1 singles. After cruising to a 6-2 victory in the first set, Joel Hug (Sr., Bangkok, Thailand) rallied from a break down to push through to a 6-4 victory in the second set of the last match of the evening. 

Saturday evening’s win was one of the most dominant on the season for Gustavus. The Gusties outscored the Eagles 96-20 in total games won and won seven of their 14 singles sets by a score of 6-0.

Did you know? The Gusties have had the Eagles’ number in recent history, sweeping Northwestern the past four times that the two teams have squared off. 

Coaches Corner

With the team split in two different locations, Assistant Coach Kinzee Salo was impressed with how the Gusties competed at home.

“Our guys played well tonight and took advantage of the opportunity to compete,” she said. “We came out strong in doubles and transitioned that confidence into singles very nicely.”

What’s Next

The Gustie men (6-3, 2-0 MIAC) will face off against defending national champion Emory tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. in Cleveland. 



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