The No. 31 Gustavus Men’s Tennis Team faced a tough test when they faced off against No. 5 University of Chicago on April 9. The Gusties lost 6-3 to conclude their nonconference play and move to 20-8 on the season.
Junior Mohanad Alhouni won in the first spot of singles, and both Sophomore Chase Johnson and Freshman Yassine Derbani also won in the fourth and fifth spots respectively.
Sophomore Patrick Whaling battled hard in the two spot, but was defeated in three sets. Junior Tommy Entwistle also dropped a hard fought third spot match, as did Junior Gabe Steinwand in the sixth.
Where the Gusties struggled was in doubles, dropping all three matches. Alhouni and Whaling were defeated 8-3, Entwistle and Johnson 8-6, and Senior David Hagberg and Derbani 8-6.
“We certainly hoped for a better result in the doubles, but we had chances in each of the three spots and numbers two and three could have gone either way down the stretch.” — Coach Valentini
“Overall we did some very good things today,” Head Coach Tommy Valentini said. “We certainly hoped for a better result in the doubles, but we had chances in each of the three spots and numbers two and three could have gone either way down the stretch.”
Valentini was proud of the team’s effort in singles.
“The response in singles was outstanding. Chicago is extremely talented and despite the deficit our guys competed the right way and showed great spirit, togetherness, never gave in and played some intelligent singles,” Valentini said.
The loss to Chicago came a day after the Gusties defeated Depauw University 8-1. Alhouni, Junior Zach Ekstein, Whaling, Entwistle, Johnson and Derbani all won to sweep singles.
“In the singles each guy did well to stay in the present and make sound tactical decisions. We competed with poise and we’re grateful it translated to a winning result,” Valentini said.
Alhouni and Whaling squeaked out a win the first doubles slot against the Tigers, 9-8, and Entwistle and Johnson won in the two spot 8-6. Hagberg and Derbani lost the Gusties only match of the day with a close 9-7 loss.
“The doubles were well played and close. We trusted our plan and each other down the stretch and handled some tense moments very well,” Valentini said.
“The response in singles was outstanding. Chicago is extremely talented and despite the deficit our guys competed the right way and showed great spirit, togetherness, never gave in, and played some intelligent singles.” — Coach Valentini
The Gusties will return to MIAC play at Carleton College on April 22.
“We’ll look to grow as a team from this one and to keep making progress,” Valentini said.