The Viking Report (April 26)
April 26, 2010
Contact: Brian McCann
Men's Golf Attempts To Defend Titles As Spring Schedule Winds Down. . .
With three of the six spring championships complete and a fourth in progress, the athletic year at Cleveland State begins to wind down this week as only three of the 17 Viking squads are in action.
The men's tennis team, which defeated UIC on Sunday (April 25) to claim its third straight Horizon League Championship, will wait until next Tuesday (May 4) for the announcement of the pairings for the upcoming NCAA Men's Tennis Championship.
The softball team will play five games this week, including a mid-week doubleheader against Toledo on Wednesday (April 28) at 3:00 p.m. at Viking Field. CSU will then travel to Chicago for a three-game series at Loyola that could lock up the regular season Horizon League crownd. The Vikings will face the Ramblers on Saturday (May 1) for two games starting at 2:00 p.m. EDT and then finish the series with a 1:00 p.m. EDT contest on Sunday (May 2). With a 16-2 league mark, CSU could clinch the title, and the right to host the league tournament from May 13-16, if it wins all three games and second place Valparaiso (9-3) loses two of its six contests.
The baseball team will be at home for five games this week, playing mid-week games against Ohio at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday (April 27) and Bowling Green at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday (April 28) before entertaining UIC for a three-game series over the weekend. CSU will host the Flames for a single game on Friday (April 30) at 4:00 p.m. and a Saturday (May 1) twinbill at 1:00 p.m. All five games will be played at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio.
Softball Approaches All-Time Wins Records
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Viking softball team has moved within reach of breaking two records for wins this week and they have seven games during a busy schedule this week. CSU will host a doubleheader against Toledo on Wednesday (April 28) starting at 3:00 p.m. at Viking Field. The Vikings will then face Loyola for a three-game series in Chicago, playing a 1:00 p.m. EDT doubleheader on Saturday (May 1) and a single game on Sunday (May 2) at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Cleveland State enters the week with a 36-11 overall and 16-2 league record. The Vikings need three wins to break the CSU single season record for wins, which was set in 2006 when the Vikings went 38-15, and one league win to equal the Horizon League record for conference wins in a season, which was set by CSU last year when it went 17-5.
More importantly, the Vikings are closing in on their second Horizon League regular season title and the right to host the Horizon League Championship from May 13-16. With a .889 winning percentage and six games remaining, CSU can assure itself of the title if it wins all three games at Loyola while second place Valparaiso (9-3) goes 4-2 against Wright State and Youngstown State this week.
"We are getting down to crunch time in the league schedule and we are really starting to play well," CSU head coach Angie Nicholson said. "We are playing good defense, getting great pitching and we are taking advantage of our offensive opportunities. If we continue to do that, then we should be able to continue our strong play."
The Vikings went 5-1 last week, including a three-game sweep of Butler over the weekend. Senior Amanda Macenko was the winner in all five games last week to improve to 30-11 this year, becoming just the third pitcher in league history to win 30 games in a season. She is tied for the national lead for most wins with Notre Dame's Jody Valdivia and Longwood's Briana Wells. With 110 career wins, one short of the league record, she now ranks 25th on the NCAA career wins list.
Baseball Hosts UIC For A Three-Game Series
The Vikings will continue their nine-game homestand this week, hosting Ohio University on Tuesday (April 27) and Bowling Green on Wednesday (April 28) in non-league contests with action starting both days at 4:00 p.m. at All Pro Freight Stadium. CSU will continue Horizon League play by hosting the UIC Flames in a three game series this weekend, with a single game on Friday (April 30) at 4:00 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday (May 1) beginning at 12:00 noon.
The Vikings enter play this week following a 1-4 week, with the lone victory coming at Toledo (April 21) when they defeated the Rockets, 9-7. After dropping two games to Butler (April 24) and one to Milwaukee (April 25) over the weekend, CSU is now 2-10 in the Horizon League and 9-28 overall.
"The biggest concern for us going into the rest of the season is getting our pitching straightened out," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "Once we get our pitching going, we can concentrate on hitting the ball and scoring runs. We need to go into this weekend's series against UIC with confidence and play like we know how and get a couple league wins."
Tyler Wynn led the Viking offense, going eight-for-17 (.471) at the plate over the week, including a five-for-10 mark in Horizon League action. Wynn marked his team-high tying eighth home run of the season in the second game against Butler (4/24) and is now tied for third in the league with teammate Bob Suitca.
Men's Tennis Claims Third Straight League Title
The men's tennis team (20-6) won its third straight Horizon League Championship and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a 4-0 win over UIC in the title match on Sunday (April 25). CSU advanced to the championship with a 4-0 win over Butler on Saturday (April 24).
The top-seeded Vikings, who have now won 25 consecutive matches over league opponents, will officially learn their tournament fate when the NCAA bracket is announced on Tuesday (May 4) at 5:00 p.m. on ESPNews. The first and second rounds will be played on campus sites from May 14-16.
"Of the three championships we have won, this was by far our most resounding in that the outcome was never really in doubt," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "The guys were not going to be denied the title this year. They felt that they were the best team in the Horizon League all year long and proved it."
CSU claimed the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then received victories from Rob Fox (No. 4) and Chris Klepatz (No. 5) before Phil Orno clinched the title with his win at No. 1 singles.
Orno was named to the first team All-Horizon League for the fourth straight season, becoming just the fifth player in league history to accomplish the feat. He was joined on the all-league first team by sophomore Yannick Goossens, while senior Ryan Hamning was named to the second team, marking his fourth straight selection to an all-league team. In addition, Etzkin was named the Coach of the Year for the second straight season and third time in the last four years.
Women's Tennis Finishes Third At Horizon League Championships
Cleveland State's magical season came to an end when the second seeded Vikings fell to third seeded Detroit, 4-1, in the Horizon League Championship semifinals on Saturday (April 24). The loss concluded CSU's season at 15-12 overall.
The Vikings had gone a program-best 7-1 during the regular season to earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
"We had an opportunity to take a huge step forward as a program, but just didn't get it done," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "There were a lot of great battles, but Detroit was just the better team on Saturday. It was a disappointing way for us to end the season, but it doesn't take away from what we accomplished this season. We have a good, young nucleus who were able to grow this year and hopefully this will make them come back and work even harder to help us take that next step."
Freshman Maria Lazaris was the lone Viking to earn a win, picking up a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Amanda Cornwell at No. 2 singles. It was Lazaris' team-leading 22nd win of the season.
Catrine Bjerrehus was named to the All-Horizon League first team for the second straight season, while Lazaris was joined on the second team by senior Charlotte Gibbons and freshman Nicole Janek. Gibbons also received the Herb Foster Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes student-athletes who display admirable conduct on and off the court.
Women's Golf Finishes Fifth At Horizon League Championship
The women's golf team concluded its season by placing fifth of seven teams at the 2010 Horizon League Championship on Saturday and Sunday (April 24-25) at the par-72, 6,062 yard Kearney Hills G.G. CSU shot rounds of 331-341-339 (1,011).
Senior Katie Broere tied for sixth place with rounds of 78-81-79 (238) to earn a spot on the all-tournament team for the second straight season. She was also a first team All-Horizon League selection for the second consecutive season after leading the team in scoring (80.3) and finished as CSU's career scoring leader (81.9).
Freshman Ariel Sparrow became the first player in school history to earn Horizon League Freshman of the Year honors after posting an 84.5 scoring average this season. She tied for 16th at the league championship with rounds of 85-84-80 (249).
"Katie and fellow senior Laren Beese have done so much to build the women's golf program and we are going to miss their leadership both on and off the course," head coach Steve Weir said. "It was also nice to see Ariel honored by the league because she continued to grow and show improvement all season and is very deserving of the honor."
Men's Golf Is In Lexington For Horizon League Championships
The men's golf squad, which has captured the last two Horizon League titles, will set out to defend them when Cleveland State takes part in the league championship on April 26-27. The 54 hole event will take place at the par-72, 7,031-yard Kearney Hills G.C.
"We are excited to have the opportunity to go out and defend our league title," head coach Steve Weir said. "We know it will not be an easy task as there are several quality teams in the league. We have been building toward this all season and hopefully we can get off to a hot start and maintain that momentum. We have to continue to make smart decisions, manage the course and stay mentally strong."
The Vikings placed 10th of 14 teams in their final tune-up before the league tournament at the 54 hole Detroit Titan Invitational on April 16-17 at the par-72, 7,142-yard Prestwick Village G.C. Senior Kyle Cobb led the Vikings, tying for 23rd place with rounds of 75-73-80 (228), while freshman Michael Klaric was three shots back in a tie for 38th place (71-79-81 - 231). His opening round 71 was the first time he has been under par for CSU this season.
Cobb leads the team with a 74.8 scoring average.
Viking High Fives
Kyle Shaffer: Baseball senior extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a pair of singles against Milwaukee on Sunday (4/25) and leads the team with 55 hits this season.
Ariel Sparrow: The women's golfer became the first player in program history to be selected as the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year.
Phil Orno: The men's tennis senior clinched CSU's third straight league title with his win at No. 1 singles against UIC. It was his 99th career singles victory.
Maria Lazaris: The women's tennis freshman capped her rookie season with a win at No. 2 singles in the league semifinals, her team-best 22nd victory.
Tess Sito: The softball freshman hit .375 last week to lead the Vikings to a 5-1 record. Included in her performance was scoring the winning run in the 1-0 win over Butler and driving in a school record six runs in the final game vs. Youngstown State.
The Schedule Ahead For The Vikings
April 26 (Monday)
April 27 (Tuesday)
Baseball hosts Ohio
April 28 (Wednesday)
Baseball hosts Bowling Green
April 30 (Friday)
May 1 (Saturday)
Softball at Loyola (DH)
May 2 (Sunday)