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ISSUE 120 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 3/16/2007

Men show promise in loss

By Matt Tiano
Sports Editor

Friday, March 16, 2007

If there is a more dominant athletic team than the Gustavus men’'s tennis team, Division I, II or III, in the state of Minnesota, I haven'’t found one.

Boasting 18 conference titles in a row, and 36 of their last 39, the Gusties typically trounce MIAC foes.

St. Olaf travelled to St. Peter for an early morning meeting with the no. 4 Gusties, who are currently unbeaten in the MIAC and who have only lost to Division I and II opponents in Hawaii. Before Saturday, the Gusties had not dropped a single conference match.

And then St. Olaf came to town, searching to simply stay competitive against a team with a handle of could-be Division-I players from across the country.

In fact, Gustavus is so good that one conference match on Satuday wasn'’t enough –- - the Gusties sent one lineup to Minneapolis to face Bethel (9-0 win) before the Oles even arrived. After Gustavus'’ 7-2 win over the Oles, a new lineup was fresh to add another win to the win column, again a 9-0 sweep, this time against St. John’'s.

While the Gusties had a clean sweep of singles play, the depth of St. Olaf'’s lineup came through as no. 2 and 3 doubles claimed two Ole points.

At no. 2, Brian Tolly ‘'10 and Patrick Curan ‘'08 defeated Ashok Jethwa and Claudio Bravo of Gustavus, 8-6. At no. 3, David Narvaez ‘'09 and Drew Erie ‘'08 beat the Gusties'’ Brian Laumeyer and Chad Olson.

“"We played very solid on the doubles side,”" Narvaez said. “"Our returns were able to give Gustavus some problems and we could take advantage of our opportunities.”"

While the singles matches weren'’t as close, some matches remained competitive and even came down to the wire. Narvaez lost his first set 6-1, but was close, as he had game point in every game but the last. Narvaez won his second set before dropping a third set super-tiebreaker.

Nick Crnkovic ‘'09 took Krishan Jethwa to a tiebreaker in his first set.

“"This match definitely gives our doubles confidence and demonstrates that we can compete with some of the best doubles teams in the MIAC and region,"” Narvaez said.

The Oles, now 1-2, head for a weekend that consists of tough MIAC opponents in Concordia and St. John'’s, both of which the Oles lost 8-1 a season ago.

“"This is a big weekend for us. St. John'’s is definitely one of the better teams in the conference and Concordia will be tough as well,"” Narvaez said. "“For these matches we feel fairly confident going in, and hopefully we can get a quick start in doubles play.”"

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