ST. PETER, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – Two Blugolds cracked the top-16 in ITA singles while an Eau Claire doubles pair won the Midwest Open to lead the UW-Eau Claire men's tennis team at the ITA/USTA Midwest Regional and the Gustavus Midwest Open hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.).
Chris Kuna (Sr.-Edina, Minn.) and Ryan Vande Linde (So.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) fronted the Blugold effort in the ITA Regional competition with top-16 runs in singles. Kuna, the No. 2 seed, jumped to a quick start with a bye and a 6-0, 6-1 win. He pushed through a grueling 3-6, 6-0, 11-9 victory but ultimately fell 6-2, 6-4.
Vande Linde also won three rounds of competition. After a trio of victories – including a 6-3, 6-3 win over the No. 10 seed – Vande Linde also had a tight, three-set battle. Vande Linde came up one game short, falling 1-6, 6-1, 7-6.
In ITA doubles competition, Kuna and Florent Marco (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) had the most success, moving ahead two rounds during the weekend. The No. 5 seed pair nailed a 9-7 win after a first-round bye but an 8-5 loss to St. Olaf (Minn.) ended their run.
After battling six different challengers, Ben Robertson (Jr.- Plymouth, MN/Robbinsdale Armstrong) and David Stingley (Jr.-St. Paul, Minn./Highland Park) earned the doubles championship in the Midwest Open. The Blugold pair relinquished just four games in the first two matches and won by no less than a three-game margin in each match. Robertson and Stingley completed their run with an 8-3 victory over a St. Olaf team Sunday afternoon. The duo was the third Blugold pair in the last decade to win the Midwest Open doubles competition.
Robertson also cut the deepest into the Midwest Open singles field, moving into the fifth round of competition. Including a first round bye, Robertson breezed into the third round with an initial 6-1, 6-0 win. He battled to a 2-6, 6-3, 10-8 victory over a UW-La Crosse opponent but was ultimately defeated 6-1, 6-0 by a Gustavus player.