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June 1, 1999

1999 Men's Tennis Review

Vikings finish season with first winning record since 1996 with 12-9 overall record and 4-3 mark in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin; Augustana places fifth in conference standings

With victories in its last three matches and nine of the last 12, the Augustana College men's tennis team finished the 1999 season with an overall record of 12-9. It was the first winning record since the 1996 team was 9-6 and the 12 victories was the most since the 1984 squad finished with a record of 12-11. Third year head coach Dan Patrick's team was 4-3 in dual meets in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin and then placed fifth in the conference tournament.

Under a new format this year, which combines regular season, play and tournament play, the Vikings finished fifth in the conference standings with nine points. Illinois Wesleyan won the conference with 15 points by virtue of finishing in a first place tie in the regular season with Millikin and then easily winning the CCIW tournament with 75 points. Millikin was second with 14 points, Wheaton third with 11, Carthage fourth with 10, Augustana fifth with nine, Elmhurst sixth with six, North Central was seventh with 3.5 and North Park placed eighth with 2.5.

In the CCIW tournament which was held in Bloomington, Illinois at the Evergreen Racquet Club over the weekend of April 30 and May 1, the Vikings finished fifth with 20 points. Illinois Wesleyan scored 75 points to win the tournament while Millikin was second with 42. Wheaton placed third with 38, Carthage was fourth with 34. Placing behind Augustana was Elmhurst with 12 points in sixth; North Central with three in seventh and North Park was eighth with one.

Senior Chris Weber (Rockford Guilford HS, Rockford, IL) at number one, junior Jon Clark (J.D. Darnall HS, Geneseo, IL) was fourth at number three, freshman Matt Deans (Libertyville HS, Libertyville, IL) at number four, freshman Adam Muehling (Clay HS, South Bend, IN) at number five and Phil Elston (Mendota HS, Mendota, IL) at number six all placed fourth in the CCIW tournament. In doubles competition Weber and David Currie (Galesburg HS, Galesburg, IL) placed fourth at number one.

Deans ended the season as the Vikings leader in singles victories with a record of 14-11, one of four Augustana players to end up in double figures in wins. Weber was 12-13 while Clark had a 12-13 mark and Elston finished 10-6.

Weber had an outstanding senior season, especially in doubles play. For the first part of the year he teamed with senior Sayeed Ali (Quincy HS, Quincy, IL) and the pair compiled a record of 11-5. After Ali got hurt during the early part of April, Weber partnered with Currie and that duo went 9-2, giving Weber a record of 20-7 in doubles play this year.

The season started with a 6-3 victory over Wabash way back on February 13 in Crawfordsville, Indiana. After that the Vikings traveled to Orlando, Florida for the annual spring trip. While in Florida, Patrick's team played top-flight competition and lost four of six matches. Small college powers like Brandeis, Eckerd, Embry Riddle and Aquinas beat the Vikings while Augustana claimed wins over Kings and Alma. Back home, the Blue & Gold fell to Central of Iowa and Grinnell on March 13 to drop its record to 3-6.

A victory over Loras on March 14 sparked a surge that eventually would see Augustana win nine of its last 12 matches including six in a row from March 14 to April 10.

Head Coach Dan Patrick: Dan Patrick is in his third year as the head coach at Augustana College. Patrick, a graduate of Eastern Illinois University, has compiled an overall dual meet record of 25-33 and he has a College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin mark of 10-11. His first two Viking teams finished fourth in the CCIW tournament before this 1999 team placed fifth.