Men’s Tennis rolls on

Teddy Kaste-

Gustavus Men’s Tennis played a couple of regular-season matches this past weekend against Luther and St. Olaf. The Gusties handled both matches, easily defeating St. Olaf 9-0 and Luther 8-1. The Gusties are currently ranked #12 in the nation, following a season in which they made the final eight. Now, the title aspirations are real for the men’s tennis team.

The win against St. Olaf was highlighted by the Senior duo of Geoffrey Youngins and Oscar Wikstrom who rolled their opponents 8-0, not losing a single game in their match. Losing seemed to be a concept foreign to the Gusties against St. Olaf, as they swept both the doubles and singles matches to melt Olaf 9-0.

The Gusties won the doubles matches by margins of 8-0 (Youngins and Wikstrom) and 8-1, which was the match won by the duo of First-year Dominik Knutson and Senior Caleb Fridinger. The young and the old worked in unison to produce excellent tennis and take down the Oles. The final doubles match consisted of a close 8-6 match that was secured by Junior Rafa de Camargo Costa and Sophomore Luke Fridinger. The Brazilian and the American weathered an early storm before rallying back to secure the final doubles point. When the Gusties were paired together in doubles, they definitely shined against St. Olaf.

The Gustavus Tennis players were feeling confident after securing every available point in doubles. They carried this confidence into the singles matches, where the Gusties continued their winning ways. Sophomore Tyler Haddorf did his part by winning the match, but he also went above and beyond winning his sets 6-0 6-0 – not losing a single game for his entire match.

Fridringer continued his winning ways in singles, as he dispatched his opponent 6-0, 6-0, a shutout performance from the senior. Gustavus had won every match that day, however Youngins, after facing little resistance in doubles, was on the ropes trying to complete the sweep for the Gusties.

Youngins won the first set 6-1, however, his opponent (St. Olaf tennis player, Karsten Johnson) battled back to win the second set 6-3. This is set up for a “breaker point” which is a tiebreaker in which the first player to score 6 points wins. You must win by 2, so if you pull ahead 6-5, you have the chance to win 7-5. If your opponent ties it at 6-6, you can win 8-6.

Although the outcome of the match was decided, Olaf looked to secure a moral victory by not getting swept. Youngins did not feel like granting them the pleasure on his behalf. The breaker point ensued; it was a back-and-forth battle with multiple chances on both sides to win. Youngins eventually held a 9-8 lead and could smell the victory. He served the ball at a blistering speed, the St.Olaf player returned it, but Youngins slammed the ball down the line out of reach of the St.Olaf player. Youngins secured the sweep for the Gusties in a thrilling final point for a thrilling match.

On Youngins’ successful shutout: “Obviously we are chasing championships, but shutouts are a nice accomplishment along the journey” Youngins said. Youngins also won a doubles match that day with his teammate and friend Wikstrom. “We live together, which helps build our chemistry on the court. We also both have aggressive play styles which helps us to excel together on the court.”

When it comes to the Gustavus Tennis team as a whole, “Living out our values and focusing on what is within our control, and forming a lifelong brotherhood with my teammates is my favorite part of Gustavus Tennis. “For our players, it’s bigger than the game out on the court,” Youngins said.

The Luther match spelled more domination for the #12 ranked Gusties. They swept the singles matches en route to the 8-1 victory with their lone loss of the day coming when the Junior doubles duo of Josh Christensen and Marco Sivero were defeated by the Luther players.

The rest of the match was pure domination for the Gusties: “The guys put together two solid efforts today. We’ll look to recover from this long and fun day and be ready for another tough challenge next week” Coach Tommy Valentini said.

The tennis team plays again today, March 8th, at home against UW-Whitewater, where the Gustavus Tennis boys will look to continue their winning ways.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *