CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Cleveland State men's tennis team kept its win streak alive Saturday afternoon, earning a 4-3 victory at Southern Illinois. The Vikings are now 7-4 on the spring season.
"Overall this was a very successful weekend for us, coming away with two wins following today's close match at Southern Illinois," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We had another solid outing in doubles, really playing strong from top to bottom in the doubles lineup. In singles, we were able to pick up some quick first sets, which gave us a little cushion to play with, and then we were able to close out three of the matches to clinch the victory. It was fun for me to be back at my alma mater, and we are definitely making strides as a team, and picking up momentum heading into the middle portion of our spring schedule."
The Vikings once again got out to an early 1-0 lead, picking up the doubles point for the sixth time this season. CSU got its two wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots - an 8-4 victory from Nolan Marks/Matt Kuelker at No. 2 doubles, and an 8-3 win from Jorg van der Vloet/Matt Ford at No. 3 doubles.
Cleveland State was then able to pick up three singles wins, clinching the 4-3 victory over the Salukis. CSU's three singles wins came from Kuelker, VanMeter, and Manuel Bellutti – all three of which went 2-0 in singles play this weekend.
Kuelker's victory came as a 6-1, 6-1 decision at No. 2 singles, while Bellutti picked up a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 4 singles, and VanMeter earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at the No. 5 position.
Kuelker now has a team-best 9-2 singles record this spring, while Bellutti and VanMeter each have eight singles wins during dual match play.
Next up for the Vikings will be their annual spring break trip, as they head to the state of Texas for three matches. First up will be a contest at Abilene Christian on Saturday, March 8.
Cleveland State 4, Southern Illinois 3
- Rigby/Kianicka (SIU) def. Shabib/VanMeter (CSU), 8-4
- Marks/Kuelker (CSU) def. Cavero/Opieczonek (SIU), 8-4
- Ford/van der Vloet (CSU) def. Aleksic/Dixon (SIU), 8-3
- Jonny Rigby (SIU) def. Jorg van der Vloet (CSU), 6-2, 6-2
- Matt Kuelker (CSU) def. Michal Kianicka (SIU), 6-1, 6-1
- Jorge Cavero (SIU) def. Ali Shabib (CSU), 6-3, 6-2
- Manuel Bellutti (CSU) def. Szymon Opieczonek (SIU), 6-2, 6-3
- Joe VanMeter (CSU) def. Filip Aleksic (SIU), 6-1, 6-2
- Rafael Cuadrillero (SIU) def. Matt Ford (CSU), 3-6, 7-6 (1), 10-8