The Gustavus men’s tennis team clinched their 26th consecutive MIAC Championship with a 9-0 win over the University of St. Thomas in the regular season finale on Sunday, April 27. Gustavus now holds the No. 1 seed in the MIAC Playoffs and improved to 26-5 overall and 9-0 in the MIAC.
The Gustavus men’s tennis team will host the lowest remaining seed from the quarterfinal round in the MIAC Playoff Semifinals on Friday, May 2 at 4:30 p.m.
The semi-final winners will then move on to compete in the MIAC Playoff Championship on Sunday, May 4 at the home site of the highest remaining seed at 1 p.m.
With the season nearing its end, the men are still hoping to reach their goal of playing in the NCAA National Tournament.
“We have only had a couple of losses and we are really close to achieving our goals. We haven’t beat two top ten teams yet, but we have been really close and we still have a chance,” Senior Bryan Miles said.
The season has been long, with the men typically practicing for three hours a day. Fighting the fatigue has been a challenge, and now the men are hoping to receive great results from their perseverance.
“Every single person on the team has been performing beautifully. The guys at the top of the lineup continue to impress me at the way they rise to meet the big-time opponents. We haven’t reached all of our goals, but we still have time to make that happen. We have some gas left in the tank and I hope that can transfer over to some big wins,” Sophomore David Brown said.
With the regular season ending, the team is anticipating entering the post season and playing against the teams that are top in the nation.
“There are ten seniors on the team, so we are all trying to get the most out of the season by working harder and seeing how far we can make it in the post season. We all agree and know that we are ready to make it to Nationals and play against the best teams in the country,” Senior Juan Luis Chu said.
Reaching the Final Eight and then Nationals before they finish their season has developed into the team’s main goal. The team held their own against some of the top-ten teams in the nation previously this season, and are looking forward to taking on the challenge once more.
“My hope for the end of the season is that we do make it to the Final Eight. It’s been a barrier we’ve been so close to breaking in my four years. I also hope that as a team we all stick together and stay at each other’s side throughout the post-season process,” Senior Joey MacGibbon said.
With a large portion of the team graduating this year, the team is looking forward to seeing what the returning players are capable of moving up on the roster.
“This season is different from prior seasons because of the number of seniors graduating. Fortunately, there are many guys returning that will have no problem fulfilling leadership roles. The strong Gustavus tennis tradition will live on,” Senior Duncan Anderson said.
With all of the success from the regular season behind them, the seniors will happily move into the post-season representing Gustavus as well as they can.
“It’s been the best four years of my life, playing for the Gustavus tennis program. I have made so many great, unforgettable memories and have built relationships that will last a lifetime while playing tennis at Gustavus,” MacGibbon said.