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Despite Loss to Gusties, Knights Have Playoff Bid Locked Up

April 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm

LAKEVILLE, Minn. – The Carleton College men’s tennis team faced conference power Gustavus Adolphus College on Saturday, and despite fighting valiantly, the result was somewhat predictable for the Knights as the Gusties prevailed once again, something they have done in 256 consecutive regular-season MIAC matches stretching back to 1985.

The last MIAC team to topple Gustavus was the Knights in the finals of the 2010 MIAC Playoffs. Unfortunately, there would be no repeat of that result today as this time the Gusties posted a 9-0 result.

Seniors Alex Chin (Hingham, Mass./Hingham), Paul Cooper (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale Central), and Austin Jiang (Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port) all posted singles victories over Gustavus in the playoff triumph but did not find the same level of success as the visitors swept the six singles matches in straight sets.

Jiang came closest to picking up a win, falling 6-3 and 7-5 to Mya Smith-Dennis, the No. 7-ranked player in the region. Cooper and Andrew Hwang (So./Brookfield, Wis./University School) put up the toughest fight in doubles action before falling 8-5 to the region’s No. 8-ranked duo by an 8-5 margin.

"The Gusties have another impressive team this year,” said Carleton head coach Stephan Zweifel. “Our guys fought as hard as they could, and the match reminded me of the Thomas Edison quote: ‘We did not fail. We just found a lot of ways that did not work.’”

The Knights could get another shot at the Gusties, however, as both teams have clinched berths in the MIAC Playoffs on May 3-4. Carleton has qualified for the MIAC Playoffs every year of the event’s existence. Over the last 11 seasons, Carleton is now 85-11 (.885) in regular-season conference matches.

The Knights will next be in action on Wednesday, April 24, as they make the short trek across town to face St. Olaf College at 4:00 p.m.