The Viking Report (April 6)
April 6, 2009
Contact: Brian McCann
Spring Schedule Continues To Pick Up. . .
The busiest week of the spring schedule lies ahead as all six spring sports are in action with each playing on multiple days of the week. Four of the sports combine to play a total of eight home events this week.
The softball team, which is in second place in the Horizon League, will play six games in all. The Vikings open the week with a three-game series at Detroit with a doubleheader being play on Wednesday (April 8) at 2:00 p.m. followed by a single game on Thursday (April 9) at 1:00 p.m. Loyola visits Viking Field for a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader on Friday (April 10) and a 12:00 noon contest on Saturday (April 11).
The baseball team will play mid-week games at Niagara on Tuesday (April 7) and at home against Duquesne on Wednesday (April 8) before traveling to Youngstown State for a three-game series. CSU will face the Penguins in a single game at 3:00 p.m. on Friday (April 10) and a 12:00 noon doubleheader on Saturday (April 11).
The men's and women's tennis teams will each host a pair of conference matches this week. UIC comes to town for a 12:00 noon contest for both squads on Saturday (April 11) with both teams then hosting Butler on Sunday (April 12) with the women playing at 10:00 a.m. followed by the men at 2:00 p.m. All four contests will be played, weather-permitting, at the Malaga Tennis Center.
The men's golf team will travel to Bloomington, Ind. to play in the Adidas Indiana Invitational on Saturday-Sunday (April 11-12). The women's golf squad will see some conference opponents this week when they are in Chicago, Ill. for the Loyola Invitational from Sunday-Monday, April 12-13.
Softball Plays Six League Games As Schedule Heats Up. . .
The women's softball team will carry a five-game winning streak into a pair of important Horizon League series this week. The Vikings will play three games at Detroit, starting with a Wednesday (April 8) doubleheader that will start at 2:00 p.m. and a single game on Thursday (April 9) that will begin at 1:00 p.m. CSU then returns home to start a 13-game home stand, hosting Loyola for a pair of games on Friday (April 10) at 2:00 p.m. followed by a single game at 12:00 noon on Saturday (April 11).
The Vikings (18-12, 6-2) begin the week in second place in the Horizon League standings, trailing only UIC (4-1).
"We are playing some good softball right now, but we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of how good this team can be," CSU head coach Angie Nicholson said. "Our defense and base-running has been pretty good all season long, but our pitching and the timeliness of our hitting can get better, even though it has been pretty good so far. We have the ability to generate many more runs than we are currently scoring."
A couple of records fell last week as CSU swept doubleheaders from both Morehead State and Butler. CSU hit three homeruns against Morehead State to break the school record for homeruns in a season with 27 this year (old record was 26 in 2006). Senior Christa Coppus drove in six runs last week to break the CSU career RBI record. Coppus has 117 career RBIs, besting Amy Jauert (1995-98) old record of 114.
Baseball To Play Five Games This Week. . .
Having won six of its last seven games, the Cleveland State (9-16, 2-4 HL) baseball team will attempt to keep that momentum going when the Vikings play five games this week, beginning with a 3:00 p.m. contest at Niagara on Tuesday (April 7). CSU will host Duquesne on Wednesday (April 8) at 5:00 p.m. before heading to Youngstown State for a three-game Horizon League series with the Penguins on Friday and Saturday (April 10-11).
"We've been able to put together a nice little streak, but I am still not satisfied," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "We still have a long way to go and hopefully we can use these last two weeks as step one to getting where we need to be. Our hitters have been performing at a very high level and the pitching is starting to come around."
The Vikings won at Ohio (16-5) and at home against Eastern Michigan (10-7) in mid-week games last week before taking two of three league contests from Valparaiso over the weekend. After losing the opener, 10-5, CSU won the final two games of the series (7-6 and 3-1).
Brian Long fired his fourth career complete game in the series finale against Valpo, giving up just one run on five hits and striking out four. Josh Hungerman led the offensive attack, hitting .429 (9-21) with seven runs, one double, two homers and 11 RBI, including eight against Eastern Michigan, to earn Horizon League Hitter of the Week honors.
Men's Tennis To Host UIC & Butler. . .
Cleveland State begins its final push toward defending its Horizon League Championship when the Vikings begin a four-match homestand to conclude the regular season with two matches this weekend. CSU will host UIC on Saturday (April 11) at 12:00 p.m. before hosting Butler at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday (April 12).
The Vikings begin the week in a first place tie in the Horizon League with UIC at 3-0, one match ahead of second place Butler (2-1).
"We are really focused right now and have been winning some big points and key moments in matches," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "With each match we play, our confidence continues to grow and that will help us during this final stretch of matches leading up to the conference championship."
CSU earned a 5-2 win at Green Bay on Sunday (April 5) in its lone action of last week. After sweeping all three doubles matches, Phil Orno, Ryan Hamning, Yannick Goossens and Robert Fox all picked up wins in singles.
Fox improved to 20-8 overall and remained perfect (3-0) in league singles matches. Goossens and Hamning have also won all three of their singles matches in conference play.
UIC & Butler Up Next For Women's Tennis. . .
The women's tennis team will host a pair of matches this weekend that will have large implications on the standings in the Horizon League. On Saturday (April 11), the Vikings will host UIC at 12:00 p.m. before entertaining Butler at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday (April 12).
The Vikings begin the week in a second place tie with Detroit in the Horizon League at 4-1, with UIC alone in first place at 3-0. Butler is in fourth place with a 3-1 mark.
"Needless to say, this will be a big weekend for us," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We have to continue to play with a high level of confidence and maintain our focus for each point. Our doubles play has been extremely sharp over the last few weeks and this will only benefit us during our final league matches and as we prepare for the league championship."
Charlotte Gibbons (No. 2), Melissa Holzinger (No. 3), Sanda Bjelan (No. 4) and Myra Pepino (No. 6) each won both of their singles matches last weekend, while the duos of Pepino and Bjelan at No. 2 doubles and Holzinger and Jackie Tabb at No. 3 doubles won two matches.
Bjelan's two wins in singles play allowed her to become the first Viking to reach the 20 win mark this season, improving to 20-9 and running her win streak to a team-high six straight. She is 9-1 in her last 10 singles matches.
Men's Golf To Play At Adidas Indiana Invitational. . .
Cleveland State continues its busy spring schedule when the Vikings travel to the 54-hole Adidas Indiana Invitational that will be played at the par-71, 6,813-yard IU Championship Golf Course in Bloomington, Ind.
"We had two really good tournaments last weekend and I think we are finally putting things together and playing like we are capable of playing," head coach Steve Weir said. "We are also getting healthy at the right time as we prepare to defend our league title in a few weeks."
The Vikings began the week by taking second place at the 36 hole Ohio State Quadrangular on Saturday (April 4) at the par-71, 7,455-yard Scarlet Course. The format was a bit different than normal with six players in the lineup and the top five scores counting. CSU shot rounds of 382-376, finishing 29 shots behind Ohio State. Senior Jake Scott was the runner-up for medalist honors with rounds of 75-71 (146).
On Sunday (April 5), the Vikings competed at the 36 hole Norm Bullock Invitational at the par-72, 6,787-yard Fox's Den G.C. CSU placed third of seven teams, but boasted the top two individuals finishers as sophomore Kent Monas, playing as an individual, won his first career collegiate tournament with rounds of 71-68 (139). Scott finished three shots behind (142) with rounds of 74-68.
Women's Golf Travels To Loyola Invitational. . .
Following a week off from competition, Cleveland State will be back on the course on Sunday and Monday (April 12-13) when the Vikings compete at the Loyola Invitational. The 36-hole event will be contested at the par-70, 5,553-yard Wilmette G.C.
"I don't think that we have reached our full potential yet, but I am happy with the way we have grown and matured as a team in each event this spring," head coach Steve Weir said. "We are going to continue to work hard, especially on our short games, and hopefully see some improvements as we gear toward the league championship."
The Vikings were last in action on March 30-31, placing seventh at the 54 hole Tina Barrett Invitational at the par-72, 6,076-yard The Manor G.C. Rounds of 347 and 339 put the Vikings in eighth place following the first day of competition, but a 341 on the final day allowed CSU to move up one spot in the team standings.
Viking High Fives
Kent Monas: Playing as an individual, the sophomore won the Norm Bullock Invitational for his first career collegiate victory. He shot rounds of 71-68.
Brian Long: The senior earned his first victory of the season with a complete game, five-hit effort in the series finale against Valparaiso.
Christa Coppus: The softball senior broke the school record for career RBIs last week. She now has 117 in her career, including a team-high 24 this season.
The Schedule Ahead For The Vikings
April 7 (Tuesday)
April 8 (Wednesday)
Baseball hosts Duquesne
April 9 (Thursday)
April 10 (Friday)
Baseball at Youngstown State
April 11 (Saturday)
Baseball at Youngstown State (2)
Men's Tennis hosts UIC
Women's Tennis hosts UIC
Men's Golf at Adidas Indiana Invitational
April 12 (Sunday)
Men's Tennis hosts Butler
Women's Golf at Loyola Invitational
Men's Golf at Adidas Indiana Invitational