Jon Foss, who provided one of five singles victories for St. Olaf, prepares for a forehand in a 6-3 victory over Saint John's in a MIAC quarterfinal on Friday afternoon.
St. Olaf 6, Saint John's 3 (box)

Ole men top Saint John's for second time in a week, advance to MIAC semis

Michael Abdella
May 4, 2012

ST. PETER, Minn.- The St. Olaf men's tennis team earned their second close match win over Saint John's in a week, as they topped the Johnnies 6-3 in the MIAC Playoff quarterfinals on Friday afternoon.

The Oles edged the Johnnies 5-4 without John Wight last Friday in Owatonna and with Wight in the line-up, St. Olaf again came out on top. The Oles got wins at positions two through six in singles play, to overcome a 2-1 deficit after doubles. Stephen Nolan was the lone Ole to win in both singles and doubles.

Like last Friday, Saint John's won two of the three doubles matches to jump ahead early. Gundersen and Nolan, the lone Ole winners in doubles, beat Joe Laue and Zach Shriwise 8-4 to claim the first point. The Johnnies then got wins from Ian Hansen and Fabricio Moncada and John Burns and Willie Paul. Hansen and Moncada defeated Wight and Andy Catania 8-4, while Burns and Paul downed Jon Foss and Charlie Reinertsen 9-7.

With Wight slotted back in the line-up at second singles, everyone else slid back down to their normal spots and the Oles took five of the six singles matches, including four in straight sets. Nolan leveled the team score at 2-2 with a quick 6-2, 6-0 victory over Laue for his team-best 15th singles match win of the spring. Saint John's went back ahead when Moncada beat Gundersen in two close sets 7-5, 6-4 to avenge a super-breaker loss to Gundersen last week. Wight and Hansen split the first two sets, each winning one 6-4. After dropping the second set, Wight did not let down as he won a hard-fought super-breaker 10-8. With the score at 3-3, the Oles won the final three matches in straight sets. Catania gave St. Olaf a 4-3 lead with a 6-3, 6-3 victory against Connor Rust. Charlie Reinertsen again claimed the clinching point for the Oles. Last week, Reinertsen won a nail-biter 7-5, 7-6 but this time around it was much more straight-forward as he dropped just three games against Paul, all in the first set. With Reinertsen's match still on court, Foss edged Zach Shriwise 7-5 in the first set, but with the team fate already decided, Foss cruised to a 6-0 second set.

For the second straight year, St. Olaf (15-3, 7-3 MIAC) advances to the MIAC Playoff semifinals. After losing to top-seeded Gustavus last year, the Oles face second-seed Carleton on Saturday morning at 11:30. Carleton defeated St. Olaf 7-2 on April 18. In the other MIAC quarterfinal, fourth-seeded St. Thomas beat fifth-seeded Macalester 5-2. The Tommies will face top-seeded Gustavus on Saturday at 11:30 am.

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