CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio – The Cleveland State men's tennis team picked up its first Horizon League victory of the season Sunday afternoon, defeating Youngstown State, 6-1. Sunday's match was CSU's annual 'Pack The House' match, as they had a record-breaking crowd of 237 on hand for the win.
"We had a great crowd on hand today, and it is always great to have the crowd behind us in a match like this, especially when it is the first league match of the season," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "Doubles was key for us today, I thought that Matt Ford and Jorg winning at No. 3 doubles was really a turning point for us in the match. Although we came away with a 6-1 win, you never know how the match might turn out if the momentum of winning the doubles point is with the other team."
The Vikings were able to get out to a 1-0 lead after picking up the doubles point, with victories at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Matt Kuelker and Nolan Marks picked up a quick 8-1 victory at No. 2 doubles, while Matt Ford and Jorg van der Vloet battled for an 8-7 (3) win at the No. 3 spot.
Marks then opened up singles play with a convincing 6-0, 6-0 victory at the No. 6 spot. Manuel Bellutti quickly followed with a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 5 singles, while Ali Shabib clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 3 singles.
"Nolan had a great day today playing at his hometown court, he was really on a run during both doubles and singles, as he won 20 straight games between both matches. The bottom half of our lineup was able to take control of the match for us today and pick up some big wins. This is definitely a contrast from how we played last year, and it is something that I am very happy with. I am excited to come away with our first league victory this season, against a solid Youngstown State team that had a strong returning group," Etzkin said.
Cleveland State was then able to pick up two additional singles wins, with VanMeter posting a 6-4, 6-1 victory at No. 4 singles and Kuelker pulling out a 6-2, 7-5 win at the No. 2 spot. Kuelker's win was the 68th of his career, as he is now just two wins shy of becoming the sixth Viking all-time to record 70 wins on their career.
Cleveland State will stay at home next weekend, hosting IPFW and Oberlin in a doubleheader on Sunday, February 23. The Vikings will face IPFW at 11:00 a.m. and Oberlin at approximately 3:00 p.m.
Cleveland State 6, Youngstown State 1
- Daqoud/Hagn (YSU) def. Shabib/VanMeter (CSU), 8-6
- Kuelker/Marks (CSU) def. Campos/Theorin (YSU), 8-1
- Ford/van der Vloet (CSU) def. Schmerin/Mistreanu (YSU), 8-7 (3)
- Silviu Mistreanu (YSU) def. Jorg van der Vloet (CSU), 6-1, 7-5
- Matt Kuelker (CSU) def. Sebastian Hagn (YSU), 6-2, 7-5
- Ali Shabib (CSU) def. Dawoud Kabli (YSU), 6-4, 6-3
- Joe VanMeter (CSU) def. Max Schmerin (YSU), 6-4, 6-1
- Manuel Bellutti (CSU) def. Zeeshan Ismail (YSU), 6-3, 6-1
- Nolan Marks (CSU) def. Rodrigo Campos (YSU), 6-0, 6-0