John Kauss emerged a double champion at
the Wilson/ITA Midwest Regional Tennis championship held at Gustavus last
weekend. He dominated the singles draw,
losing only eight total games in five matches in route to the final. Teammate Charlie Paukert offered stiff
resistance in the first set. The consistency, power, and quickness by both
players were remarkable. John won 6-3, 6-2, thereby earning All American
ranking in singles for the first time.
He had come so close in last year’s final, serving at 5-4 against Andy
Bryan in the third set. John’s sustained
intensity throughout this tournament sent the clear message that he did not
intend to have the title slip away again.
John’s doubles victory with Mike Burdakin
was equally convincing. They advanced to
final, losing only seven games in four matches.
In the final they broke serve in the first game, and never looked back
as they cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over teammates Kevin Stickney and Nick
Hansen. A year ago John and Mike had the
title in their grasp, serving at 40-love with three consecutive match points,
only to have Andy Bryan and Charlie Paukert sneak out a victory. This year it was different. Mike claims his second ITA/Midwest doubles
title, the first coming two years ago with Paukert. John becomes an All American in doubles for
the first time.
Other strong performances by Gustavus
players included Ashok Jethwa’s 7-5, 6-1 upset of seventh seed Max Busch from
Luther, Patrick Clark’s 6-7(3), 6-2 (10-7) defeat of thirteenth seed Joey
Lankelma from Coe, and Kevin Stickney’s 6-3, 6-1 upset of eleventh seed Winston
Park from Carleton. Three out of four
singles semifinalists from Gustavus and two finalists have been the record for
the last eight years. In doubles the
unbroken record of Gustavus champions goes back sixteen years.
In the Midwest Open, a “B” tournament
for lower ranked players, two University of Wisconsin schools dominated. In singles Will Krieger from Whitewater beat
David Torres from Bethel 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 in a close, hard fought battle. In the doubles final it was all Eau Claire. Dirk Van Rybroek and Eric Wollum beat Aaron
Johnson and Chris Kuna 8-3 for the title.
In the Wilson/ITA consolation singles
final Gustavus freshman Daniel Pomeranc won by default over Thomas Orser from
Luther. In doubles Kirby Johnson and
Jordan Swanson from Concordia beat Nathan Fekete and Nick Piotrowski from
University of Wisconsin- LaCrosse 8-5.
One hundred ninety seven players from
22 schools participated in the Wilson/ITA Regional and the Midwest Open
tournaments. John Kauss and Mike
Burdakin now advance to the Wilson/ITA national singles and doubles tournaments
in Mobile, Alabama from October 16 to 19.