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May 27, 2008

2008 Men's Tennis Review

Rock Island, Ill. – The Augustana men’s tennis team finished a record setting season by defeating Illinois Wesleyan 9-0 in the third place match at the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin tournament.  It was the seventh straight win over the Titans and 20th win of the season for the Vikings, breaking the school record of 13 victories set in 1968 (13-2), 1980 (13-3), and 2006 (13-7).  Augustana was 20-8 overall with a 3-2 mark in the CCIW.


Senior co-captain Rafael Romero (Punto Fijo, Venezuela – Byron HS in Byron, Ill.) led the way for the Vikings, playing number one singles in his final season.  Romero amassed a singles record of 20-12 in the top spot and was a first team CCIW All-Conference selection.  Fellow senior co-captain Andy McCarter (Dixon HS, Dixon, Ill.) also posted 20 victories, finishing the season with a mark of 20-11, mostly at number three singles.  By winning 20 singles matches in a single season, Romero and McCarter set a new Viking record, topping the old mark of 19 set by Roger Nelsen in 1975 (19-1) and Kent Horstmann in 1980 (19-3).  The senior duo also compiled an impressive doubles record, teaming together for a 19-6 mark at number two doubles.  Earning 19 doubles wins as a tandem broke the old school record of 18 set by Matt Morkin and Mike Morkin in 1987 (18-11).  Each senior had an impressive career, with Romero sitting third on the all-time singles wins list with a 55-40 record and McCarter finishing at 49-26, tied for eighth with Dan Rooney, who was 49-27 from 2002-05.  The seniors were 23-11 together in doubles, tied for sixth on the all-time doubles wins list with David Currie and Eric Hanson, who were 23-23 from 2000-02.

Sophomore Chris Mullin (Downers Grove South HS, Darien, Ill.) improved tremendously for the Vikings in his second season and was named to the CCIW All-Conference second team.  After playing much of his freshman year at number five singles, he solidified the number two slot in the Augustana lineup this year and accumulated a singles mark of 15-12.  Mullin also finished with a 13-14 doubles record with freshman Kyle Doyle (Anthony Wayne HS, Maumee, Ohio) at number one doubles.  Doyle turned in a strong freshman campaign, playing in the fifth spot in the lineup for the Vikings and ending the year with a singles mark of 18-7.  He is tied for fifth on the all-time single season wins list with Steve Miller, who was 18-3 in 1980, and Chris Webber, who was 18-8 in 1998.

Junior Greg Ruth (Quincy HS, Quincy, Ill.) was 12-12 playing the majority of his matches at fourth singles and also proved to be a versatile player on the doubles court, teaming with several different partners throughout the season at number three doubles.  He was 8-3 with freshman Kyle Feder (Belleville East HS, Belleville, Ill.), 5-2 with sophomore Geoff Schoon (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.), and 6-0 with sophomore Kurtis Carls (LaSalle-Peru HS, Utica, Ill.).  Ruth has 30 career singles victories entering his senior season and will be looking to crack the top ten for most career wins.

Schoon and Feder shared the sixth position in the singles lineup this season, with Schoon recording a 13-6 mark and Feder finishing at 15-4.  Carls and sophomore Dain Sundstedt (Hononegah HS, Roscoe, Ill.) also made appearances in the singles lineup.  Carls was undefeated with a 4-0 mark while Sundstedt compiled a 4-2 record.  Carls was also undefeated in doubles action, winning all nine of his matches.  Sundstedt was 4-0 in doubles action.

The Vikings opened the season by knocking off Central 6-3 in the team’s first home match.  The victory broke an eight match losing streak against the Dutch and was the first Viking win over Central since a 4-3 victory in 1996.  Augustana also avenged losses from last season to Nebraska Wesleyan and Grinnell.  The Vikings defeated Nebraska Wesleyan 7-2 after falling to the Prairie Wolves 8-1 just one year ago.  The biggest win of the season came at Grinnell, where Augustana upset the Pioneers 5-4.  Grinnell was ranked 13th in the Central Region at the time and finished the year as champion of the Midwest Conference and advanced to the Round of 32 in the NCAA Division III post-season tournament.  McCarter and Schoon each won third set super-tiebreakers to clinch the win for the Vikings.

The team also fared well on its annual spring trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, compiling a 4-1 mark on the week.  Augustana defeated Villa Julie 8-1, Catholic 6-3, and cruised past Cabrini and Juniata for 9-0 wins.  The victory over Juniata tied the school record, moving the Vikings to 13-3 on the season.  The only blemish on the week was a 6-3 setback to NCAA Division II Catawba.

Augustana broke the school record for wins in a single season by defeating Quincy 6-3, improving to 14-4 overall.  The Vikings posted eight 9-0 wins during the season and had an overall match record of 123-66 in singles and 61-28 in doubles.

2008 CCIW Tournament

April 25-26, 2008 ** Evergreen Racquet Club ** Bloomington, Illinois

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

First Round:

Match #1 – Augustana 9, North Central 0

Match #2 – Illinois Wesleyan 8, Elmhurst 1


Match #3 – Carthage 7, Augustana 2

Match #4 – Wheaton 9, Illinois Wesleyan 0

Placing Matches:

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

Match #6 – Augustana 9, Illinois Wesleyan 0 (3rd place)

Match #7 – Carthage 5, Wheaton 4 (1st place)

2008 Augustana Superlatives

Most Wins in a single season: 20…(20-12)

CCIW All-Conference: Rafael Romero (1st team) and Chris Mullin (2nd team)

CCIW Academic All-Conference: ???

CCIW Finish: 3rd place at conference tournament

Single Season Singles Wins: Rafael Romero…tied for 1st with 20 (20-12); Andy McCarter…tied for 1st with 20 (20-11); Kyle Doyle…tied for 5th with 18 (18-7)

Career Singles Wins: Rafael Romero…3rd with 55 (55-40); Andy McCarter…tied for 8th with 49 (49-26)

Single Season Doubles Wins: Rafael Romero & Andy McCarter…1st with 19 (19-6)

Career Doubles Wins (w/ same partner): Rafael Romero & Andy McCarter…tied for 6th with 23 (23-11)

Most Valuable Players: Rafael Romero

Most Improved Player: Chris Mullin

Most Inspirational Player: Greg Ruth

Newcomer of the Year: Kyle Doyle