EAST LANSING, Mich. – Despite Colton Buffington picking up his first singles victory of the spring season, the Cleveland State men's tennis team came up short at Michigan State Saturday afternoon, falling to the Spartans, 6-1. After a pair of Big Ten losses this weekend, the Vikings now stand at 3-2 on the season.
"This was a very competitive match today, I really thought we had the possibility of getting the win, but we just weren't able to capitalize at some crucial moments," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We fell into a hole early in doubles, and although we didn't play bad overall, it is hard to come back from a deficit when the doubles matches are so quick now. After Colton was able to get us on the board with a quick singles win, I thought the magic was going to happen for us, but we just weren't able to pick up any of the close third sets on the other courts. This was a great learning experience for a young team, and I thought they put up a good fight in front of a rowdy crowd today."
After dropping the doubles point and then falling behind 2-0 after a Michigan State win at No. 1 singles, the Vikings were finally able to get on the board with a win at the No. 3 spot.
Buffington posted a 6-3, 6-4 straight set victory at No. 3 singles for the Vikings, earning his first singles win of the spring season and putting the score at 2-1 MSU.
The Vikings then fell behind 3-1 after the Spartans picked up a win at No. 6 singles, leaving three singles matches on the court, all of which went to third sets. Cleveland State wasn't able to carry the momentum on any of the final singles courts then, as Michigan State picked up wins in the final three matches for the 6-1 victory.
Cleveland State will continue its seven-match roadswing next weekend, traveling to Northern Illinois for a trio of matches. The Vikings will open the weekend against Nebraska-Omaha and Illinois State on Saturday, February 13, and will then take on Northern Illinois on Sunday, February 14. All three matches will be played at Northern Illinois.
*Birthday Note* There is a small chance that you will ever compete on your birthday. There is an even smaller chance that two players who share the same birthday will compete on their birthday. But that happened today, as Cleveland State's Benjamin Slade and Michigan State's Alexander Kim faced each other at No. 4 singles...on their shared birthday. In the words of Brian Etzkin; "I would like to say that it's hard to lose on your birthday. But what do you say when both players share that birthday?"
Michigan State 6, Cleveland State 1
1. Dube/Roy (MSU) def. VanMeter/Mick (CSU), 6-2
2. Koenen/Shisler (MSU) def. Goth/Slade (CSU), 7-6 (5)
3. Kim/Rakic (MSU) def. Radosevic/Buffington (CSU), 6-4
1. Mac Roy (MSU) def. Mirko Radosevic (CSU), 6-1, 6-2
2. Michael Dube (MSU) def. Joe VanMeter (CSU), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 7-5
3. Colton Buffington (CSU) def. Jasper Koenen (MSU), 6-3, 6-4
4. Alexander Kim (MSU) def. Benjamin Slade (CSU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
5. Billy Shisler (MSU) def. Kevin Goth (CSU), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
6. Ivan Rakic (MSU) def. Andre Mick (CSU), 6-3, 6-2