Gusties Fall to No. 1 University of Chicago in First Round of ITA Indoor Championships

Posted on February 24th, 2023 by


SAINT PETER, Minn. — Gustavus men’s tennis, the 2023 host for the ITA Men’s Team Indoor Championship, played its first match of the tournament, and against a formiddable opponent nonetheless. The Gusties, seeded at No. 8 in the ITA bracket, matched up with the 2021-22 NCAA DIII National Champions, the No. 1 University of Chicago Maroons. The Gusties had a fighting chance after earning a victory in the No. 2 doubles spot and No. 1 singles matchup, but ultimately fell to the Maroons by a score of 5-3.

Doubles play was a marathon for both teams. In the No. 1 spot, Nick Aney (Sr., Rochester) and Daniel Fouchier (Sr., Nootdorp, Netherlands) put up a valiant effort against their opposite, falling by an eventual score of 8-7. In the No. 2 spot, Alex Budde (Sr., Menomonee Falls, Wis.) and Gage Gohl (Fy., Sioux Falls, S.D.) gave the Gusties their first win of the day with an 8-4 victory over Chicago. The Maroons returned the favor, winning 8-4 over Gustavus’ Sourabh Terakanambi (Sr., Apple Valley) and Marco Siviero (So., Sao Miguel de Oeste, Brazil).

Aney, out for revenge, defeated U. Chicago’s Arjun Asokumar in the No. 1 singles spot with set scores of 6-2 and 7-5. Neel Raut (Sr., Oshkosh, Wis.) fell to Derek Hsieh, the No. 22 singles player in the nation with scores of 6-1 and 6-7. In the three spot, Siviero put up his best effort against John Walentowicz, who rattled off 6-3 and 6-1 victories over the Gustavus sophomore and No. 15 singles player. Daniel Fouchier added the Gusties’ second singles victory in the No. 4 spot, winning in three with scores of 6-1, 2-6, and 6-3 over Emil Grantcharov.

Marek Michulka sealed the deal for the Maroons, defeating Budde at No. 6 in three, winning the final two sets 6-2 and 6-3, ending the decision at 5-3 for the visiting Maroons before Josh Christensen (So., Rochester) could finish his final set at No. 5.

“This was exactly the kind of match you hope to play on the opening night of indoors. The line between winning and losing was razor thin tonight and unfortunately the result didn’t tilt our way,” said Head Coach Tommy Valentini. “But our guys competed like lions. We played well in the doubles and certainly had a look at the 2-1 lead.

“Alex and Gage played beautifully to get us on the board. Daniel and Nicky were great and came up just short. What was most encouraging was the way we continued to respond to adversity all match. Whenever our backs were up again the wall, we trusted each other and pushed back.”

The Maroons will advance to the semifinals of the tournament, while the Gusties will face NC Wesleyan, the No. 5 ITA tournament seed, tomorrow night with tentative first serve at 7 p.m.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our entire team. Now we need to get our focus on to recovering quickly and we’ll look forward to another great challenge tomorrow.”

Doubles Results

1. Hsieh, Derek/Leonov, Andrei (UCM) def. Nick Aney/Daniel Fouchier (GACM) 8-7
2. Alex Budde/Gage Gohl (GACM) def. Asokumar, Arjun/Otero, Pat (UCM) 8-4
3. Reddy, Biren/Walentowicz, John (UCM) def. Sourabh Terakanambi/Marco Siviero (GACM) 8-4

Singles Results

1. Nick Aney (GACM) def. Asokumar, Arjun (UCM) 6-2, 7-5
2. Hsieh, Derek (UCM) def. Indraneel Raut (GACM) 6-1, 7-6
3. Walentowicz, John (UCM) def. Marco Siviero (GACM) 6-3, 6-1
4. Daniel Fouchier (GACM) def. Grantcharov, Emil (UCM) 6-1, 2-6, 6-3
5. Josh Christensen (GACM) vs. Leonov, Andrei (UCM) 6-1, 3-6, 3-4, unfinished
6. Michulka, Marek (UCM) def. Alex Budde (GACM) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3

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