MIAC Men's Tennis Notebook - March 14, 2019

Leo Vithoontien and the Knights are ranked No. 38 in the nation.
Leo Vithoontien and the Knights are ranked No. 38 in the nation.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- As spring break trips continue through March, men's tennis teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) are preparing to begin the heart of the conference schedule in April.

POLL TALK
Gustavus is ranked No. 12 with Carleton at No. 38 in the latest Oracle/ITA Division III Men's Tennis Rankings, released on February 28.

Hamline's Jake Trondson is the top-ranked singles player in the MIAC, currently slotted at No. 11 in the nation. Carleton's Leo Vithoontien is ranked No. 15, with Gustavus' Patrick Whaling and Chase Johnson at Nos. 23 and 24, respectively. Whaling and Johnson are also ranked No. 3 in the country as a doubles team, with teammates Yassine Derbani and Nick Aney at No. 13. Carleton's Vithoontien and Jordon O'Kelly are ranked No. 19.

AROUND THE MIAC
Bethel rookie Jason Reilly won the deciding match in come-from-behind fashion, taking a third-set tiebreaker, 10-8, to help the Royals defeat UW-La Crosse, 5-4, last Friday. Reilly is off to a 7-2 start as BU's No. 5 singles player while moving up to the No. 1 doubles spot with teammate Hunter Fernelius. The duo is 3-0 together this season.

Carleton first-year William Walsh won in both singles and doubles as the Knights handed St. Thomas its first loss of the season by an 8-1 margin on March 3. Walsh moved up to No. 1 singles and won 6-1, 6-0. He also paired with Jonas Lindholm-Uzzi on an 8-3 victory in doubles.

Concordia freshman Tanner Lundberg had a big week in Florida, recording three singles victories last week. Tied 4-4 in the Cobbers' finale against Adrian, Lundberg rallied from a 1-0 deficit to win in the super-set tiebreaker at No. 4 singles. He evened the match with a 7-5 win in the second set and then outlasted his opponent by winning 10-3 in the tiebreaker.

Gustavus senior Patrick Whaling helped Gustavus complete a 9-0 shutout victory over Hamline on March 2 with wins at No. 1 singles and doubles. In a matchup of top-25 ranked singles players in Division III, No. 23 Whaling upset No. 11 Jake Trondson - the 2018 Fall ITA regional champion - in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. Whaling and doubles partner Chase Johnson won, 8-4, at the No. 1 spot.

Hamline first-year Elias Ramirez jumped out to a 6-0 start to his collegiate career with five wins at No. 2 singles and one victory at the No. 1 spot. His lone loss came against Gustavus' Chase Johnson, the No. 24-ranked singles player in the nation this season.

Macalester sophomore Sam Hochberger improved to 5-0 at No. 1 singles for the undefeated Scots with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Saint Mary's last Friday night. Hochberger and Ben White teamed up for an 8-6 doubles victory over the Cardinals as well.

Saint John's sophomore Thomas Gillach won back-to-back matches against non-division opponents via the super-tiebreaker last week. He topped his opponent from Division II Stonehill (Mass.), 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 11-9, last Wednesday and came back on Thursday to defeat his No. 1 singles foe from NAIA St. Francis (Ill.), 6-4, 4-6, 10-7. Gillach is 2-1 at No. 1 singles this season and 4-2 overall in singles play.

Saint Mary's senior Bobby Tiedemann collected the Cardinals' first MIAC singles win of the season against St. Thomas in February. Tiedemann recorded a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles.

St. Olaf senior Corey Loken recorded the first No. 1 singles victory of his career in the Oles' match against St. Thomas last week. Loken won his singles match 7-5, 6-2 and posted an 8-4 victory at No. 2 doubles with teammate Gus Fedje-Johnston.

St. Thomas junior Erich Nuss is unbeaten in 2019 with a 3-0 mark at No. 5 singles and 2-0 record at No. 6 singles. Nuss came away with a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 5 singles and teamed with Nick Vossen for an 8-4 win at No. 3 doubles against St. Olaf last Friday.