ST. PETER, Minn. – In a dual meet that went the distance, the University of Chicago men's tennis team dropped a 5-4 decision to Gustavus Adolphus College in the NCAA Division III Championship on Sunday.
The No. 6-ranked Maroons finished with an 18-5 record after reaching the NCAA postseason for the third-straight season. The No. 21-ranked Gusties moved to 26-8.
Singles split evenly from there, with the Maroons winning the bottom three lineup spots. Junior Luke Tsai raced through his match at No. 5 with a quick 6-1, 6-0 triumph. Fellow junior Peter Leung provided the next Maroon point with a 6-4, 7-5 victory at No. 4.
With Gustavus Adolphus holding a 4-3 lead in the team scoring, UChicago freshman Ninan Kumar bounced back at No. 6 from a tough second set to prevail in three by scores of 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. The dual all came down to a third set at second singles, which the Gusties secured 4-6, 7-6, 7-5.
"This loss definitely stings, but Gustavus played a very tough match on their home courts and they earned the win," Head Coach Jay Tee said. "We played hard and had chances, but this loss is on me as a coach for not preparing them better for this moment over the past few weeks. Our guys worked so hard all season long and for it to end this way is tough. I'm still very proud of our whole team for the entire season and thankful for all the effort that they gave to their coaches, teammates and university."
Gustavus Adolphus 5, UChicago 4
1. Mohanad Alhouni (GAC) def. Nicolas Chua (UC) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3
2. Zach Ekstein (GAC) def. Erik Kerrigan (UC) 4-6, 7-6, 7-5
3. Patrick Whaling (GAC) def. Charlie Pei (UC) 6-4, 6-2
4. Peter Leung (UC) def. Tommy Entwistle (GAC) 6-4, 7-5
5. Luke Tsai (UC) def. Chase Johnson (GAC) 6-1, 6-0
6. Ninan Kumar (UC) def. Yassine Derbani (GAC) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
1. Ninan Kumar/Erik Kerrigan (UC) def. Mohanad Alhouni/Patrick Whaling (GAC) 8-6
2. Tommy Entwistle/Chase Johnson (GAC) def. Tyler Raclin/Max Hawkins (UC) 8-6
3. David Hagberg/Yassine Derbani (GAC) def. Charlie Pei/Nicolas Chua (UC) 8-4
- Thursday-Saturday, May 25-27 – UChicago at NCAA Division III Singles & Doubles Championships (at Chattanooga, Tenn.)