Engelstad Notches 100th Career Win, Men’s Tennis Remains Perfect
This past weekend The College of St. Scholastica men’s tennis team hosted Macalester College at the Arrowhead Tennis Center in hopes to keep their undefeated record alive. It was their fourth straight MIAC opponent, which makes it all the more impressive that the Saints walked away with yet another win to boost their record to 4-0. Before the match against Macalester, the Saints had taken down Concordia, St. John’s, and St. Olaf.
This marked St. Scholastica’s first home match, and they didn’t disappoint as they handled the Scots quite well by winning 6-3. The No. 1 and No. 2 teams of Serhii Tykhonenko/Logan Engelstad and Ernesto Telles/Bryce Gadke helped put the Saints on top early after winning two of the three doubles matches. With the doubles victory, Engelstad secured his 100th career win as a Saint, becoming just the fifth player in the CSS program to achieve the triple-digit goal.
“It’s an accomplishment I take a lot of pride in,” said Engelstad in regards to his 100th victory. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of some very talented teams and my reaching 100 wins is as much of a testament to that than anything. A lot of thanks goes out to our coach, Wells Patten, and the job that he’s done here at CSS. He’s a great coach and an even better man, I’m extremely happy to be able to say I played for him.”
Engelstad didn’t give all the praise and glory to one person, however, as he had another role model he looked up to as well.
“Having my brother, Jake, to look up to and lean on has been an invaluable resource,” said Engelstad. “I wouldn’t be anywhere near the person or tennis play that I am today without him.”
Of course, Engelstad has also become a role model for others through his time here at CSS, and two first-year athletes on the team have taken into account the leadership and pride they see through him.
“It was a pretty big moment for the team to witness Logan’s 100th win,” said Boudreau. “We were pretty excited for him before the match even, asking him if he was ready for his 100th win. When he finally got it we congratulated him as he was pretty happy to reach the milestone. It will definitely be a goal (of mine) to follow in the footsteps of one of our greatest captains, Logan.”
Boudreau isn’t the only freshman on the team who has a chance in the future to join the 100-win club, as his fellow teammate Ernesto Telles may also be an early candidate to keep an eye on.
“It is a very huge achievement for Logan and we all recognized positively for him as he is our captain and we are proud of him,” said Telles. “I don’t focus much on winning or losing as I just want to give my best for the team, but I do see myself in the future having 100 wins or more.”
After Engelstad’s milestone, the Saints moved on to singles matches where they needed to split with the Scots at 3-3 to earn the win. They in fact went 4-2 in singles with Gadke, Telles, Engelstad, and Brendan Boudreau earning the victories.
The 4-0 start is the first for the Saints since the 2013 season, where they jumped out to an early 6-0 record. The undefeated start is something the Saints can build on, especially considering the fact that none of the matches have been blowouts.
“Being able to test ourselves against the MIAC schools and come away with these close victories has been great,” said Engelstad. “Having these nail-bitter matches will be really good come the second half of the season and the UMAC playoffs knowing we can face adversity and pull out key matches.”
“No men’s tennis team has made it to Nationals, and this team’s goal is to “be the first”,” said Boudreau. “In order to do that we have to be able to prevail in those tough matches, which we’ve been able to do so far and hopefully we can do moving forward.”
The Saints have two more matches before heading down to Florida for some spring competition. If the Saints were to come away with two wins, it would tie the magnificent start to the 2013 season with a 6-0 record.
“Our match this Friday against Minnesota Morris will be a good measuring stick to see how we’re stacking up to some of the UMAC schools,” said Engelstad. “The following week we have a match against Luther, who beat St. John’s by the same score that we did so it should be a battle. If we give ourselves a good chance to win those matches, we can carry the momentum into our Florida trip and set the tone for the rest of the season.”
All of the talk about the future can wait for now, however, as the Saints are still sitting atop the nation with their undefeated record.
“We have worked hard for it, and the results are there,” said Telles. “We are undefeated.”