CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State men's tennis team opened Horizon League play Saturday afternoon, dropping a 4-3 contest to Northern Kentucky in the Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion. The Vikings are now 10-8 overall this season and 0-1 in league play.
"This was a disappointing loss today, league matches are pass/fail and we didn't come out on top today," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We played exceptional in doubles today, and I thought at the beginning of the match if we could get the doubles point and one of the top three singles points then we would be in good shape – but that wasn't the case today. Mirko played one of his best singles matches of the season today, and Ben had some great adjustments in his match to change a losing strategy to a winning strategy and really executed throughout his match. We are disappointed in the outcome today, but we will regroup and be ready for the Titans next weekend."
The Vikings got off to a quick start against the Norse, cruising through the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles. At the No. 2 spot, Colton Buffington and Kevin Goth improved to 6-1 this spring after picking up a 6-2 victory, while Benjamin Slade and Mirko Radosevic earned a 6-0 win at No. 3 doubles.
The momentum then shifted in Northern Kentucky's favor, as the Norse picked up four straight singles wins to take the 4-1 advantage and clinch the match victory.
Cleveland State was able to rebound and pick up wins on the final two singles courts then, with Slade posting a 4-6, 7-6 (1), 4-2 victory after his opponent retired at No. 5 singles, and Radosevic earning a 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 at the No. 2 spot.
With his win against NKU, Slade now has a team-best 18-11 record this season, including an 11-7 mark this spring. Radosevic now stands at 16-12 overall this season.
The Vikings will be back in action next weekend, when they travel to Detroit on Sunday, April 3.
Northern Kentucky 4, Cleveland State 3
1. VanMeter/Mick (CSU) vs. Virag/Clemens (NKU), 4-3, unf.
2. Buffington/Goth (CSU) def. Maginley/Lang (NKU), 6-2
3. Slade/Radosevic (CSU) def. Carr/Isache (NKU), 6-0
1. Mate Virag (NKU) def. Joe VanMeter (CSU), 7-5, 6-4
2. Mirko Radosevic (CSU) def. Jody Maginley (NKU), 7-5, 5-7, 6-0
3. Lukas Clemens (NKU) def. Colton Buffington (CSU), 7-6 (8), 6-3
4. Court Clark (NKU) def. Kevin Goth (CSU), 7-6 (4), 6-4
5. Benjamin Slade (CSU) def. Adrian Isache (NKU), 4-6, 7-6 (1), 4-2, ret.
6. Nick Lang (NKU) def. Andre Mick (CSU), 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2