The Gustavian Weekly

Men’s Tennis wins 29th straight MIAC title: Gusties finish regular season with a record of 22-8

By Tanner Sparrow - Managing Editor | May 5, 2017 | Sports & Fitness

Senior Mohanad Alhouni returns a ball during a match. The team’s season record was 22-8 and they hold the No. 1 seed going into MIAC playoffs. They are currently ranked No. 21 in the nation.

Senior Mohanad Alhouni returns a ball during a match. The team’s season record was 22-8 and they hold the No. 1 seed going into MIAC playoffs. They are currently ranked No. 21 in the nation.

The Gustavus Men’s Tennis team won their 29th straight MIAC title last weekend with a victory over St. Thomas. The Gusties finished the regular season with a 22-8 overall record and a perfect 9-0 in conference play.

“The guys competed very well today, St. Thomas is a talented team. We had good energy in the doubles and executed our game plans well. In singles we handled the moment and the conditions well and played with good poise. I was very proud of how the guys carried themselves in victory and defeat today,” Head Coach Tommy Valentini said.

The Conference Title is the eighth for Valentini as a Head coach.

The 7-2 Gustie victory was the first conference loss of the season for the Tommies.

Junior Mohanad Alhouni, who leads the Gusties with a 28-5 singles record suffered a rare loss in the No. 1 position, falling 6-4 and 6-3. However, Junior Zach Ekstein, Sophomore Patrick Whaling, Sophomore Chase Johnson and Freshman Yassine Derbani all took home singles victories in the No. 2, No. 3, No. 5 and No.6 spots, respectively. The Gusties also swept in doubles, with Alhouni and Whaling winning 8-6 in the No. 1 spot, Junior Tommy Entwistle and Johnson winning 8-6 in the No. 2 spot, and Senior David Hagberg and Derbani winning the 3 spot.

“We’re making good progress, grateful for a conference title and to carry on a great tradition, and we look forward to enjoying the challenges of the post season,” Valentini said.

The Gusties earned a first round bye in the MIAC Playoffs, and at time of print was set to host No. 4 seed Bethel University on Thursday, May 4. Should the Gusties defeat Bethel, they will host the winner of No. 2 Carleton and No. 3 St. Thomas at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 at Swanson Tennis Center.

“We’re making good progress, grateful for a conference title, and to carry on a great tradition.” — Coach Valentini

“We just try to stay in the moment, I mean I think more than anything else, we try not to dwell too much in the past or let ourselves get too far ahead in the future, we just try to enjoy each day we get a chance to be with each other as a team, and get a chance to enjoy each challenge that presents itself with every stage, and just try to go out and live out our values and do the things that make us a good team, as players and as people in each situation that we wind up in, and hopefully that’s good enough,” Valentini said.

Junior Tommy Entwistle returns a ball during a match earlier this season. The Gusties’ next match is May 6 if they win Thursday’s match.