COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Cleveland State men's tennis team had an excellent second day at the ITA Midwest Regional, as the Vikings won three out of their six matches on the day.
"I am very excited about Matt picking up a win in the main singles draw and advancing to the Round of 32, he definitely deserved being in the main draw and will hopefully capitalize on the opportunity," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "Today was Matt's first match of the weekend, so he was fresh when he started playing, but after going three sets it can wear you down. The good thing is that his opponent also played a three-set match so they will hopefully be equal when they face-off tomorrow. I am also excited about having two teams in the Round of 32 in the doubles draw – it's always great when we have people advancing in the main brackets and showing what Cleveland State tennis is about."
The Vikings went 2-1 in doubles play Friday, with Ali Shabib and Joe VanMeter and Matt Kuelker and Manuel Bellutti picking up wins. Shabib and VanMeter earned an 8-6 victory over a duo from Toledo, while Kuelker and Bellutti earned an 8-5 victory over a league opponent from Valparaiso.
Kuelker also picked up a win over Muddappa Appanervanda of Illinois State in the first round of the Main Singles draw, advancing to the Round of 32 where he will face Michigan State's Drew Lied – the No. 8 seed in the regional tournament. Kuelker marks the first Viking to earn a victory in the Main Singles Draw at the ITA Regional since Phil Orno did so in 2009.
Shabib also represented Cleveland State in the Main Singles Draw, dropping a three-set match to Northwestern's Mihir Kumar (3-6, 6-3, 6-2) in the first round.
Bellutti, who advanced to the Round of 16 in the Qualifying Singles Draw with a pair of victories on Thursday, fell to Patrick Koscielski of Detroit, 6-3, 6-3 just missing out on earning a spot in the Main Singles Draw.
Play at the Midwest Regional will continue tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 19), with one round of singles beginning around 11:45 a.m. and two rounds of doubles to follow.
Singles Qualifying Draw
Patryk Koscielski (DET) def. Manuel Bellutti (CSU), 6-3, 6-3 (Round of 16)
Main Singles Draw
Matt Kuelker (CSU) def. Muddappa Appanervanda (ISU), 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 (First Round)
Mihir Kumar (NW) def. Ali Shabib (CSU), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 (First Round)
Doubles Main Draw
Shabib/VanMeter (CSU) def. Cona/Meza (UT), 8-5 (First Round)
Jesse/Gosea (ILL) def. Ford/van der Vloet (CSU), 8-3 (First Round)
Kuelker/Bellutti (CSU) def. Bacalla/Emhardt (VALPO), 8-5 (First Round)