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June 1, 2007

2007 Men's Tennis Review

Augustana men’s tennis squad finishes season with third place finish at the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin tournament after knocking off rival Illinois Wesleyan in third place match; Vikings end season with 12-16 record and 3-2 mark in CCIW action;  Chris Mullin leads team with 16 singles wins

ROCK ISLAND , Ill. – The Augustana Vikings men’s tennis team finished on a high note at the end of the 2007 season with a 7-2 victory over rival Illinois Wesleyan in the third place match of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin tournament in Bloomington, Illinois on April 28.  The team finished the season with 12-16 record and a 3-2 mark in the CCIW.

Tom Goebel (Moline HS, Moline, Ill.) and Rafael Romero (Punto Fijo, Venezuela – Byron HS in Byron, Ill.) played at the top of the lineup for the second straight season.  With Romero, number one in 2006, recovering from a torn ACL, Goebel stepped up into the top spot for the vast majority of the season.  He dealt with some injuries of his own, but battled through with a 7-19 record.  Romero opened the season at number three singles, but quickly grabbed the second slot and used a late season charge to finish 13-14 for the season.  He is 35-28 heading into his junior year and on pace to grab a spot in the top 10 all-time singles victory list after his senior campaign.  Goebel and Romero also played most of the season together at number one doubles, compiling a 5-10 mark.  After three seasons, the duo is tied for ninth all-time with 18 doubles victories, compiling an 18-21 mark at number one doubles.

Greg Ruth (Quincy HS, Quincy, Ill.) made significant strides in his sophomore season, filling the number three singles spot after rotating in and out of the lineup at sixth singles in his freshman year.  He finished the year with a 14-16 mark, including an 11-11 record in the third slot.  Ruth teamed with Geoff Schoon (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) in doubles for a 7-5 mark before going 4-0 in his final four matches with Chris Mullin (Downers Grove South HS, Darien, Ill.).  Ruth and Mullin picked up key wins over Wheaton and Illinois Wesleyan to close out the season.

Andy McCarter (Dixon HS, Dixon, Ill.) continued to solidify his presence in the lineup.  He started in the fifth spot, but played most of the season at fourth singles and finished with a 15-10 singles record.  McCarter also stepped into the doubles lineup on a consistent basis late in the season, teaming with Romero for a 4-5 record at number one doubles.  The duo earned CCIW wins over Illinois Wesleyan and North Central.  McCarter is 29-15 in singles action heading into his senior year.

Dave Gapp (Jacobs HS, Algonquin, Ill.) was forced into the second position early in the season due to the injury to Romero, but eventually slid into the fourth position.  He was 4-5 at number four singles and 6-15 overall before a broken collarbone sidelined him late in the season.  Gapp put together a solid 8-8 doubles mark with Mullin at number two doubles.  Gapp is 29-25 in singles after three seasons with the Vikings.

Mullin and Schoon both made a positive impact for the Augustana squad as freshmen.  Mullin led the team in victories with a 16-15 mark and was 11-8 at number five singles.  He played all three doubles positions for the Vikings and was a clutch performer with Ruth at third doubles at the end of the year.  Schoon was used primarily in the doubles lineup for most of the season, but jumped into the sixth spot with the late season injury to Gapp.  He was 7-8 in singles play and teamed with Goebel for a 3-0 mark at second doubles at the end of the year.  The pair earned victories over Wheaton and Illinois Wesleyan in the final two matches of the season.

Brian Burghgraef (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) closed out his career with a 5-7 doubles record and 1-4 singles mark in his senior season.  He earned his singles win over North Central in the opening round of the CCIW tournament.  Pete Sakash (York HS, Elmhurst, Ill.) was 2-3 in singles as a senior and stepped into the sixth slot for the Vikings on the team’s spring break trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.  Dain Sundstedt(Rockton Hononegah HS, Roscoe, Ill.) saw action in two varsity matches in his freshman season, teaming with Schoon for wins over Knox and North Central at third doubles.

The Vikings opened the season with a difficult schedule, falling to several ranked opponents early in the year.  After starting 2-10, the team rallied to win 10 of its final 16 matches to finish the season.  Five Viking opponents qualified for the NCAA Division III national tournament (Carthage, Grinnell, Luther, Transylvania, and UW-Whitewater) and Mercyhurst is entered in the NCAA Division II field.  The team also faced off against strong NAIA programs in Graceland, Illinois-Springfield and St. Francis as well as Coe, a regionally ranked NCAA Division III program.

2007 CCIW Tournament

April 27-28, 2007 ** Evergreen Racquet Club ** Bloomington, Illinois

Seeds: 1. Carthage (5-0); 2. Wheaton (4-1); 3. AUGUSTANA (3-2); 4. Elmhurst (2-3); 5. Illinois Wesleyan (1-4); 6. North Central (0-5)

First Round:

Match #1 – Illinois Wesleyan 6, Elmhurst 3

Match #2 – Augustana 8, North Central 1

Semi-Finals:

Match #3 – Carthage 9, Illinois Wesleyan 0

Match #4 – Wheaton 7, Augustana 2

Placing Matches:

Match #5 – Elmhurst 8, North Central 1 (5th place)

Match #6 – Augustana 7, Illinois Wesleyan 2 (3rd place)

Match #7 – Carthage 7, Wheaton 2 (1st place)

2007 Augustana Spuerlatives

CCIW All-Conference: Rafael Romero (2nd team) and Tom Goebel (2nd team)

CCIW Finish: 3rd place at conference tournament

CCIW Individual Champion: Rafael Romero (#2 singles)

Invitational Finishes: Tied for3rd place at Kerry Seward Tournament at WabashCollege in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Single Season Singles Wins: Chris Mullin…tied for 7th with 16 (16-15)

Career Doubles Wins: Tom Goebel and Rafael Romero…tied for 9th with 18 (18-21)

Most Valuable Players: Rafael Romero, Andy McCarter, and Greg Ruth

Most Improved Player: Greg Ruth

Most Inspirational Player: Brian Burghgraef

Newcomer of the Year: Chris Mullin