The Viking Report (Jan. 30)
Jan. 30, 2006
Contact: Brian McCann
Nine Sports In Action As Part Of Busy Athletic Week. . .
For the first time during the winter season, all nine Viking teams will be in action this week with the majority of events coming on the road.
After playing their last three games on the road, the women's basketball team returns home for five of its next six games, including contests against Wright State on Thursday (Feb. 2) and Butler on Saturday (Feb. 4).
The men's and women's swimming teams close their respective regular seasons on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in Busbey Natatorium. Both teams will swim against UIC with the women also squaring off with Youngstown State.
The men's basketball team will put its three-game road winning streak on the line when it plays at Detroit on Thursday. The Vikings then play at Loyola on Saturday as part of a three-game league road swing.
Fresh off a 16-15 win over Pittsburgh in their EWL opener, the wrestling team will take to the road for matches at Lock Haven on Saturday and Bloomsburg on Sunday (Feb. 5).
The men's and women's tennis teams will both be in upstate New York for multiple matches this weekend. The women begin the week with a home match against Akron on Thursday before playing at Niagara on Saturday and Buffalo on Sunday. The men have road contests at Niagara (Friday) and St. Bonaventure (Saturday).
Closing out the schedule will be the fencing teams, which will compete at the Ohio State Dualson Saturday and Sunday.
Men's Basketball Plays Three Straight On The Road. . .
The men's basketball team begins its last extended road swing of the year this week when the Vikings play road games at Detroit on Thursday (Feb. 2) at 7:00 p.m. and Loyola on Saturday (Feb. 4). The games are part of a stretch which has CSU playing four out of five games on the road.
The upcoming road games may be a blessing for the Vikings, who have struggled at home this season while playing well on the road. CSU leads all Horizon League teams with a 3-1 road mark this year, including consecutive victories over Youngstown State, UIC and UW-Green Bay. On the flip side, the Vikings are just 5-7 at home, including a 1-4 mark in league play.
The Vikings begin the week with a 4-5 league mark, putting CSU in a four-way tie for fourth place as only one and a half games seperate second through ninth place in the standings.
"This is an important pair of games for us, especially when you consider the implications that they will have on the league standings," head coach Mike Garland said. "We have played well enough defensively to win our games, but we haven't made our shots on offense and that has cost us."
The Vikings do not return home until Feb. 11 when they host Horizon League leading UW-Milwaukee.
Women's Basketball Returns Home For Two League Games. . .
The women's basketball team (3-16, 1-7 HL), returns from a three-game road trip to host a pair of Horizon League games this week. The Vikings will welcome Wright State to the Wolstein Center on Thursday (Feb. 2), followed by a contest with Butler two days later (Feb. 4). The first meetings this season with the Raiders and Bulldogs kick off a stretch in which CSU will play five of six at home.
"Right now, I am pretty pleased with the defensive effort we're giving each and every time out," head coach Kate Peterson said. "However, we are really struggling to put the ball in the basket. If we can figure out how to turn things around offensively, I think we can win some games down the stretch."
The Vikings dropped a pair of road games last week against the top two teams in the league. On Thursday (Jan. 26), CSU fell at league-leading UW-Green Bay, 76-54, despite a career-high 29 points from Omega Harrington. She matched the school record with seven three-pointers, but it was not enough as the Phoenix connected on a school record tying 16 triples. Two days later (Jan. 28), UW-Milwaukee used a 44-28 advantage on the boards, including a 16-6 margin on the offensive glass, to earn a 61-46 victory. Milwaukee native Dominique Butler paced the Vikings with 10 points in her homecoming.
Wrestling Continues EWL Play With Two Matches On The Road. . .
The Eastern Wrestling League season kicks into high gear this week, as the Vikings hit the road to Pennsylvania for a 7:30 p.m. match at Lock Haven on Saturday (Feb. 4) and a 1:00 p.m. meet at Bloomsburg on Sunday (Feb. 5).
The Vikings (5-4, 1-0 EWL) have been successful of late, winning four of their last six matches including their league opener against Pittsburgh on Thursday (Jan. 26).
CSU trailed 15-7 with three bouts remaining against the Panthers at Woodling Gym before rallying for three decisions to record a close 16-15 win. Seniors Ron Howard (184) and Ishmal Williams (197) as well as freshman Rashard Goff (285) got the Vikings the points they needed to claim the win, while a major decision by freshman Victer Crenshaw at 157 proved to be the difference in the score in a match where nine of 10 bouts went as decisions.
"Our guys are learning a hard lesson," head coach Jack Effner said. "The margin of error is so small at this level. You have to get up for every bout."
Including the Pittsburgh match, three of the Vikings' last four wins have come the hard way, with CSU needing to rally from early deficits to come out on top. Ohio State put Cleveland State in a 10-0 hole to start the match on Jan. 7 before the Viking surged to claim a 25-18 win over the Buckeyes. At the Wendy's Duals on Jan. 22, CSU and Davidson battled through four lead changes before the Vikings took control in the final three bouts to win, 27-15.
Tennis Continues Spring Slate With Four Home Matches. . .
The men's and women's tennis teams each have a busy week ahead of them as they continue their early spring schedule with multiple matches on the road. The women open the week with a 12:00 noon home match against Akron on Thursday (Feb. 2) at River Oaks Racquet Club. The Vikings then play road contests at Niagara on Saturday (Feb. 4) and Buffalo on Sunday (Feb. 5). The men play both of their matches on the road, squaring off with Niagara on Friday (Feb. 3) and St. Bonaventure on Saturday.
Both teams opened their spring home schedules last week. The women won two of their three matches, defeating St. Bonaventure (5-2) and Robert Morris (7-0) and falling to Toledo (6-1) while the men lost to Xavier (6-1) in its only contest.
"Although I am happy that we were able to win two of our three women's matches last week, I still think that we are capable of doing better," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We are capable of playing with a (men's) team like Xavier, but we were a little rusty and just didn't get started well."
Sophomore Jenn Myers won all three of her matches at No. 2 singles to improve to 4-1 this spring, adding wins in two of her three doubles contests. On the men's side, mid-year addition Olivier Dahine made his Viking debut a memorable one, winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, over Xavier's Doug Matthews to give CSU its lone point.
Swimming Closes Regular Season vs. UIC & Youngstown State. . .
Cleveland State returns home to Busbey Natatorium for the final regular season home meet of the year on Saturday (Feb. 4) when they host UIC and the Youngstown State women's team beginning at 1:00 p.m. Prior to the meet, the Vikings will recognize their 10 departing seniors in Senior Day ceremonies.
Women's swimmers Kirsty McKechnie, Wendy Peel and Nicole Reddout will be honored before the meet, as will men's athletes Thatcher Carr, Mark Dilillo, Brian Klausner, Steven Ondercin, Pieter Pelser, Daniel Thomasson and Adam Wroblewski.
The Vikings are coming off of a slow week of competition, as the women's squad saw the only action on Saturday (Jan. 28), falling to St. Francis in a 107-98 battle that wasn't decided until the final event.
With the two teams tied after the 200 breaststroke, the winner of the 400 free relay would claim the team victory, and the CSU relay team of Jen MacLauchlan, Sandra Bunker, Alexandra Bagi and Lesley Jones came up less than a second shy of claiming the win.
"We had some swimmers swim a lot of events back to back," head coach Mike Lehto said. "We knew we needed to swim fast, and we had some very good times. They just came out and swam some of their fastest times and won a lot of close races."
Saturday's meet against UIC and Youngstown State will not be the last time the Vikings will compete in Busbey Natatorium this season, as Cleveland State will welcome six other Horizon League schools for the Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb. 22-25.
Fencing Returns To Action After Long Holiday Layoff. . .
The fencers are in action again this week when they travel down I-71 to take part in the Ohio State Duals on Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 4-5). The Vikings will square off against some of the top teams in the Midwest, including Notre Dame and the host Buckeyes, who are both ranked nationally.
"This will be a grueling two days -- the quality of the competition we'll be facing is top notch," head coach Jim Sager said. "I was pleased with our effort last week in our first meet back from a long break break and I look for continued improvement this weekend."
The Vikings opened the 2006 portion of their schedule at the Notre Dame Duals (Jan. 28-29) after a nearly two-month layoff. Both the men's and women's teams collected a trio of wins in the competition.
Viking High Fives
Marianne Lionell: Junior swimmer eclipsed the team's top time in the 200 breaststroke against St. Francis on Saturday (Jan. 28), swimming the trip in 2:27.19. She now holds CSU top marks in five events.
Jenn Myers: The sophomore has started the spring tennis schedule on fire, going 4-1 at No. 2 singles over the last two weeks, including a perfect 3-0 record last week.
Ishmal Williams: The senior wrestler earned a 3-2 decision against Pittsburgh last week to help CSU rally to win its first Eastern Wrestling League contest of the season.
Omega Harrington: The senior guard had the best game of her career, tying the school record with seven three-pointers en route to a career-high 29 points at league-leading UW-Green Bay last week.
The Week Ahead For The Vikings
Feb. 2 (Thursday)
Women's Basketball hosts Wright State
Men's Basketball at Detroit
Feb. 3 (Friday)
Feb. 4 (Saturday)
Swimming hosts UIC & Youngstown State
Women's Basketball hosts Butler
Men's Basketball at Loyola
Women's Tennis at Niagara
Wrestling at Lock Haven
Fencing at Ohio State Duals
Feb. 5 (Sunday)
Wrestling at Bloomsburg
Fencing at Ohio State Duals