2017 ITA Men's Tennis Midwest Regional Championships

September 29 - October 2, 2017 | Gustavus Adolphus College









ST. PETER, Minn. (Oct. 2) – The 2017 ITA Midwest Regional Championships wrapped up on Monday, with Gustavus men’s tennis standout Mohanad Alhouni (Sr., Tripoli, Libya) earning his third singles title in a row at Swanson Tennis Center.

For the second-straight year, the ITA Midwest Regional Singles Championship was highlighted with an All-Gustie singles final. Alhouni defeated teammate Zach Ekstein (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) 6-2, 6-0 to earn his third singles All-America recognition.

“It was a special honor to have Mohanad and Zach play this final,” said Head Coach Tommy Valentini. “They are great teammates and friends and have meant the world to our program. Mohanad’s level was just too good today. He played beautifully. For Mohanad to win this title for a third time is an extraordinary accomplishment, and his matches against Gustie teammates in each of the last 3 rounds says a lot about all of our guys.”

The No. 1 seeded Alhouni first had to get by teammates Yassine Derbani (So., Casablanca, Morocco) and Chase Johnson (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) in the quarterfinal and semifinal round to reach the championship match against Ekstein.

“It feels pretty good, it was definitely a long weekend with a lot of tennis,” said Alhouni. “This tournament can be individual, but we were able to compete and support each whether we were on or off the court. Playing Yassine, Chase, and Zach today, it isn’t easy. It is nerv-racking but I think we handled it first-class. We were able to push each other and I am really grateful for that. I am looking forward to the spring season and obviously Georgia next week.”

After falling in the first round of the singles draws at the ITA Tournament last season, the No. 4 seeded Ekstein receives runner-up honors as he made his way all the way to the finals, including a 6-4, 6-2 semifinal victory over No. 2 seed Brady Anderson of Coe.

“Zach had a phenomenal tournament and continues to make great progress in his game,” Valentini said. “He is a first class competitor, leader and young man.”

Yesterday evening, Alhouni and doubles teammate Patrick Whaling (Jr., Manikob Sabot, Va.) took down Anderson and Ackert of Coe 6-4, 6-4 in the doubles championship. As the singles and doubles champion, Alhouni advances to the ITA Oracle Cup. Alhouni and Whaling will head south to Rome, Ga. Oct. 11-15, competing at Rome Tennis Center at Berry College.

“We are grateful to have come through in both singles and doubles and look forward to a great experience at the Oracle Cup with Patrick and Mohanad,” Valentini concluded.

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ST. PETER, Minn. (Oct. 1) – The Gustavus men’s tennis doubles pair of Mohanad Alhouni (Sr., Tripoli, Libya) and Patrick Whaling (Jr., Manikob Sabot, Va.) defeated Brady Anderson and Nate Ackert of Coe College 6-4, 6-4 to claim the ITA Midwest Regional Doubles Title on Sunday at Swanson Tennis Center.

Day three of the ITA Midwest Regional Championships and Midwest Open completed on Sunday inside the Swanson Tennis Center bubble due to unfavorable weather. Both the singles and doubles draws were completed in the Midwest Open, while the ITA singles quarterfinal and semifinal rounds were finished.

After falling in the semifinals against St. Thomas last year, Alhouni and Whaling came back to claim the ITA doubles title. The Gusties’ top duo first defeated conference foes Leo Vithoontien and Jordon O’Kelly of Carleton prior to taking down Anderson and Ackert of Coe in the finals. Alhouni and Whaling will receive All-America doubles honors for the second-straight year. 

“We’re certainly grateful that Alhouni and Whaling won the title and will advance to the Oracle Cup, but the weekend was really about our entire group,” said Head Coach Tommy Valentini. “To have six doubles teams through to the round of 16 and five singles quarter finalists is a great showing from our guys. Both Yassine Derbani (So., Casablanca, Morocco) and Chase Johnson (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.)played strong singles matches against Alhouni today and Whaling competed with great toughness and came within a few points of giving us four singles semifinalists. Zach Ekstein (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) was also phenomenal and extremely poised in both rounds today.”

After the quarterfinal round of ITA singles play, the semifinal round was set with three of four Gusties. Alhouni defeated teammate Chase Johnson 1-6, 6-1, 6-1, while Zach Ekstein outmatched Anderson of Coe 6-4, 4-2 to set up the set up the All-Gustie singles final for the second year in a row.

“The guys stuck together and embraced a lot of tough moments today and every member of our team made great progress this weekend. We look forward to a great singles final tomorrow with Mohanad and Zach, and to build trust as a team based on our ITA weekend,” Valentini commented.

The Alhouni and Whaling pair moves on to compete in the ITA Oracle Cup Oct. 11-15 at Rome Tennis Center at Berry College in Rome, Ga. 

“Mohanad and Patrick played excellent doubles today. They needed a high level in order to advance in both rounds. The Carleton team played very well and is extremely talented. The Coe pair truly was outstanding all tournament, and played a great final. We were fortunate to win in both matches,” said Valentini.

Alhouni and Ekstein will face off for the ITA Midwest Regional singles final tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.

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ST. PETER, Minn. (Sept. 30) – Day two of the ITA Midwest Regional Championships and Midwest Open is complete as singles play moved on to the quarterfinal round in the ITA tournament and the semifinal round in the Midwest Open Tournament. Doubles play advanced to the semifinals in both tournaments.

In singles play, five of eight Gustavus team members will compete in the quarterfinals. In the top half of the bracket, No. 1 seedMohanad Alhouni (Sr., Tripoli, Libya) will take on teammate Yassine Derbani (So., Casablanca, Morocco), while Chase Johnson (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) will take on Nate Ackert of Coe. Rounding out the bottom half is No. 4 seed Zach Ekstein (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) vs. Tykonenko of St. Scholastica and Patrick Whaling (Jr., Manikob Sabot, Va.) against No. 2 seed Brady Anderson of Coe.

In doubles, the top-seeded duo of Mohanad Alhouni and Whaling will face Vithoontien/O’Kelly of Carleton, while Ekstein and Derbani will take on Anderson/Ackert of Coe.

The semifinals of the ITA Midwest Regional begin at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

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ST. PETER, Minn. (Sept. 29) – Day one of the ITA Midwest Regional Championships and Midwest Open is complete as singles play moved on to the round of 32 in the ITA tournament and the round of 16 in the Midwest Open Tournament. Doubles play advanced to the round of 16 in both tournaments.

In the ITA regional singles draw, top-seeded and back-to-back champion Mohanad Alhouni (Sr., Tripoli, Libya) of Gustavus defeated Jackson Lewton of Central 6-0, 6-0 and Danny Schoen of UW-Eau Claire 6-0, 6-2. In addition, No. 2 seed Brady Anderson of Coe, No. 3 seed Herman Abban of Carthage, and No. 4 seed Zack Ekstein (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) of Gustavus also advanced to the round of 32.

The ITA double went through the first two rounds and is now down to the round of 16. Three out of four rated teams remain alive, No. 1 seed Mohanad Alhouni/Patrick Whaling (Jr., Manikob Sabot, Va.) of Gustavus, No. 3 seed Pudlo/Ford of Coe, and No. 4 seed Tommy Entwistle (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.)/Chase Johnson (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) of Gustavus. No. 2 seed Navratil/Jimmy Englehart of UW-Whitewater were knocked out in the second round by Michael O'Neil (So., Edina, Minn.)/Xavier Sanga (Fy., Middleton, Wis.).

The ITA Regional and Midwest Open are schedule to continue tomorrow at 9 a.m.

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ST. PETER, Minn. – Gustavus Adolphus College is set to host the 2017 Men’s ITA Midwest Regional Championships and the 2017 Midwest Open in St. Peter, Minnesota this weekend. The tournaments will run from Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2 and will feature several of the top teams in the region at eight sites throughout St. Peter and Mankato.

More than 200 of the top players in the Midwest will take part in the tournaments. The first round singles matches in the ITA Regionals and the Midwest Open are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday. 

For the first three rounds of singles in the Midwest Open, matches will be two out of three sets with a 10-point tiebreak for the third set. In the ITA main draw singles, all matches will be two out of three Full Sets. On Saturday and Sunday, all singles matches in both tournaments will be full two out of three sets.

For doubles, all matches will be eight-game pro-sets until the finals of both the ITA and the Midwest Open. The finals of both doubles tournaments will be two out of three sets with a 10-point tiebreak for the third set.

2016 reigning champion Mohanad Alhouni (Sr., Tripoli, Libya) of Gustavus comes in as the No. 1 overall seed in the ITA Regionals singles draw. Behind Alhouni sits second-seeded Brady Anderson of Coe College, third-seeded Herman Abban of Carthage College, and fourth-seeded Zach Ekstein (Sr., Eagan, Minn.) of Gustavus.

ITA Regional doubles competition will begin Friday at 3:15 p.m. The duo of Mohanad Alhouni and Patrick Whaling (Jr., Manikob Sabot, Va.) of Gustavus will enter the tournament as the top-seeded doubles team. They will be challenged by second-seeded Zane Navratil/Jimmy Engelhart of Wisconsin-Whitewater, third-seeded Josh Pudlo/Luke Ford of the Coe College, and fourth-seeded Tommy Entwistle (Sr., Sioux Falls, S.D.)/Chase Johnson (Jr., Golden Valley, Minn.) of Gustavus.

The Swanson Indoor Tennis Center, located on the west edge of the Gustavus campus, will serve as headquarters for the ITA Midwest Regional Championships, with matches also taking place at the adjacent Brown Outdoor Tennis Complex, Gibbs Complex (also located on the Gustavus campus), Veterans Park in St. Peter, Mankato East High School, Prairie Winds Middle School, Bethany Lutheran College, Le Sueur High School, and Le Center High School.

On the draws, locations are listed as follows:

 “S” = Swanson Tennis Center and Brown Tennis Courts 1-12 (Northwest corner of Gustavus campus)

“G” = Gibbs Courts (7th Street, next to the Gustavus campus front entrance)

“V” = Veterans Field Courts (North 5th Street ten blocks north and two blocks east of the Gustavus entrance)

"E" = Mankato East High School (2600 Hoffman Rd., Mankato, MN 56601)

“PW” = Prairie Winds Middle School - Mankato (1200 Prairie Winds Dr., Mankato, MN 56001)

"BL" = Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. (700 Luther Dr, Mankato, MN 56001). Take Hwy 22 South to Mankato. Follow N Riverfront Dr. to N 6th St. in Mankato. Follow N 6th st. Take East Elm Street to Luther Drive.

“LS” = Le Sueur High School (901 Ferry St. Le Suer, MN 56058)

“LC” = Le Center High School (228 W. Tyrone St. Le Center, MN 56057)

The singles and doubles champions from the ITA Regional Championships will advance to the ITA Oracle Cup. The ITA Oracle Cup is comprised of the eight regional champions (and/or at-large selections) from NCAA Divisions II and III, NAIA, and junior/community colleges. Over 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA, Junior and Community Colleges compete at one of the 84 ITA Regional Championships held across the country.