The Gustavus men's tennis team faced a pair of tough nonconference opponents over the weekend, and rookie Mohanad Al-Houni (Tripoli, Libya) was up to the challenge. Al-Houni went 2-0 at No. 1 singles and 2-0 at No. 2 doubles to help the Gusties split with a pair of regionally-ranked opponents. For his performance, the MIAC sports information directors honored Al-Houni Tuesday with the MIAC Men's Tennis Athlete-of-the-Week award.
Al-Houni helped Gustavus score an 8-1 win over DePauw Saturday with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, singles win at the top spot in the lineup, and he helped the No. 2 doubles team score an 8-5 win. The team suffered a narrow defeat (5-4) to Chicago the next day, but Al-Houni's performance stood out. He helped the No. 2 doubles team score an impressive 8-1 win, and he outlasted Chicago's Nic Chua in a three-set thriller at No. 1 singles, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. Chua is ranked No. 3 in the Central Region and won the ITA Small College Singles Championship. Al-Houni improved to 17-5 in singles play and 15-7 in doubles play during his breakout freshman season.
With last weekend's split, Gustavus is now 13-0 overall, and the Gusties remain unbeaten at 6-0 to share first place in the MIAC with also-unbeaten Carleton (21-1, 7-0 MIAC). This week, Gustavus will attempt to win its 27th-straight MIAC title with three big matches on the schedule to wrap up the regular season. The Gusties host Saint John's on Thursday at 3:45 p.m., then play a pair of road matches Saturday - at St. Thomas at 1 p.m. and at Carleton at 2:30 p.m. - with major championship implications.
Mohanad Al-Houni, Gustavus