VALPARAISO, Ind. – The Cleveland State men's tennis team concluded play at the Valpo Fall Invitational Saturday, bringing home four singles titles and one doubles title. During the final day of play, CSU went 9-1 in singles action and posted a perfect 4-0 record in doubles play.
"Overall this was a good first tournament for us, I thought the entire team played very well throughout the weekend," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We had a better second day than first day, which goes to show how well the team adjusted to our game plan. This was our first glimpse of the season and I am definitely encouraged and excited by what I saw this weekend from everyone."
Benjamin Slade – B Singles Champion
Freshman Benjamin Slade began his collegiate career with a bang this weekend, going 3-0 at the Valpo Fall Invitational to claim the B Singles Draw title. After picking up a win in the opening round yesterday, Slade posted a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Butler's Mason Dragos in the semifinals and then earned a 6-2, 6-4 victory in the championship match over Charlie Emhardt of Valparaiso.
"Ben 'Slider' Slade was able to slide into the finals today and picked up a solid win against a tough Valparaiso opponent. After winning a draw in his first collegiate tournament, I would say that Ben is adjusting well to college tennis. He played through some tense moments during his matches, and did well under pressure. I am excited for his career moving forward, and he definitely had a good first weekend of college tennis," Etzkin said.
Kevin Goth – C Singles Champion
Kevin Goth captured his second career fall tournament title this weekend, going 3-0 to pick up the C Singles Draw title. Goth was able to pick up an easy win in his opening round match yesterday, and followed that up with a 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3 win over Butler's Ari Gerstain in the semifinals and then posted a 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-1 win over Valparaiso's Garrett Gardner in the title match.
"Kevin is playing some of his best tennis right now, and it was great to see him take home a singles draw title. He had a great finals match against his opponent from Valparaiso – who we last saw in the league semifinals – and adjusted to the conditions of playing under the lights and outlasted his opponent after a long day of tennis," Etzkin said.
Mirko Radosevic – E Singles Champion
Mirko Radosevic picked up the third main draw singles title for the Vikings this weekend, capturing the E Singles championship after opening the season with a 3-0 record. Radosevic picked up an easy victory in his opening round match yesterday, and then posted a pair of straight set wins against Lope Adelakun of Butler (6-4, 7-6 (3)) and Max Renke of DePaul (6-4, 6-4) today.
"Mirko was able to win his flight playing at less than 100%, so I can't wait to see what he is capable of when he is playing at full health. I was happy for him to pick up some wins this weekend, and hopefully he continues to play his game and be a source of energy for us on the court," Etzkin said.
William Malm – D Singles Consolation Champion
After dropping his opening round match yesterday, freshman William Malm rebounded with a pair of victories today to pick up the D Singles Consolation title. Malm picked up matching 6-3, 6-4 victories over Trent Reiman of Eastern Illinois and Adrian Mag of Butler en route to his first collegiate fall tournament title.
"We definitely saw William come out of his shell as a competitor today, and the team rallied around his competitiveness and really fed off of his energy. He had been sick all week leading up to the tournament, and it was good to see him put some W's on the board after a tough week of practice," Etzkin said.
Andre Mick – C Singles
After picking up a win in his opening round match yesterday, Andre Mick went 1-1 in singles play today to finish the weekend with a 2-1 record in the C Singles draw. Mick dropped a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 contest in the main draw, and then picked up a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 victory against Ari Gerstain of Butler in a consolation match.
"We might be seeing the blossoming of Andre Mick right now - he was playing some great tennis today in singles and doubles. He pushed a good opponent to three sets in the main draw, and then outlasted a quality opponent to get a win after a long day of tennis in a consolation match. His energy and confidence is at an all-time high right now, and that is definitely helping the team," Etzkin said.
Joe VanMeter/Benjamin Slade – B Doubles Consolation Champions
Despite dropping their opening round match yesterday, Joe VanMeter and Benjamin Slade were able to bounce back with an 8-7 (6) victory over a Butler tandem today to capture the B Doubles Consolation title.
"I thought we made great progress from day one to day two in our doubles play – which is something that you always want to happen at these fall tournaments. One of our main goals was to improve our doubles play today, and we did a great job of focusing on that. We knew what we had to work on today, and we improved in all of those areas. I am very happy with our doubles performance from this weekend, and can't wait to see what kind of doubles team we can become throughout the season," Etzkin said.
The Vikings will continue their fall season next weekend, participating in the WMU/Vredevelt Invite on Friday, September 25 and Saturday, September 26.
Valpo Fall Invitational Day 2 Results
Spencer Lang (BU) def. Joe VanMeter (CSU), 3-0, ret.
Benjamin Slade (CSU) def. Mason Dragos (BU), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2
Benjamin Slade (CSU) def. Charlie Emhardt (VALPO), 6-2, 6-4
Kevin Goth (CSU) def. Ari Gerstain (BU), 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3
Kevin Goth (CSU) def. Garrett Gardner (VALPO), 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-1
Garrett Gardner (VALPO) def. Andre Mick (CSU), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
Andre Mick (CSU) def. Ari Gerstain (BU), 6-1, 3-6, 7-5
William Malm (CSU) def. Trent Reiman (EIU), 6-3, 6-4
William Malm (CSU) def. Adrian Mag (BU), 6-3, 6-4
Mirko Radosevic (CSU) def. Lope Adelakun (BU), 6-4, 7-6 (3)
Mirko Radosevic (CSU) def. Max Renke (DEP), 6-4, 6-4
Goth/Malm (CSU) def. Khmiadasvili/Lang (BU), 8-6
VanMeter/Slade (CSU) def. Mag/Adelakun (BU), 8-7 (6)
Mick/Radosevic (CSU) def. Gonzalez/Martinez (CHST), 8-3
Mick/Radosevic (CSU) def. Gardner/Hickey (VALPO), 8-3