CHICAGO, Ill. – The Cleveland State men's tennis team had a strong showing in doubles and singles play Saturday afternoon, picking up a 5-2 victory at UIC. The Vikings now stand at 12-10 overall this season and 2-3 in league play.
Saturday's win against the Flames marked the 13th straight victory for Cleveland State against UIC, as the Vikings now own a 15-6 record against the Flames under head coach Brian Etzkin.
Cleveland State was able to get out to an early 1-0 lead against the Flames, picking up wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles for the first point of the match. Colton Buffington and Kevin Goth teamed up for a 6-4 victory at the No. 2 spot, while Mirko Radosevic and Benjamin Slade posted a matching 6-4 win at No. 3 doubles. The duo of Radosevic and Slade now owns a team-best 4-1 record against league opponents this season.
"This was a great team win for us today, I thought everyone did a good job of adjusting throughout their matches and focusing on what they could control to came away with the victory," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "Although we were able to pick up the doubles point, we had to come-from-behind in both doubles matches, which I thought showed great focus from all involved."
Slade then put Cleveland State up 2-0 at the start of singles play, as he notched a 6-1, 6-4 victory at No. 4 singles. Saturday's victory marked Slade's 20th of the season, as he is just the sixth Viking to record a 20-win season during their rookie campaigns.
After UIC was able to pick up a point at No. 1 singles, Buffington was able to give the Vikings a 3-1 advantage with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 three-set victory at the No. 3 spot. Buffington now has a 3-2 singles record against league opponents this spring.
Joe VanMeter then clinched the match for the Vikings at No. 2 singles, as he battled for a 7-5, 6-4 victory. The win marked VanMeter's 72nd of his career, as he is now in sole possession of 6th place on the CSU Singles Wins list.
Cleveland State's final point of the match came from William Malm at No. 6 singles, as he stepped into the lineup at the last minute to earn a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 three-set victory.
"William did a great job of stepping into the singles lineup at the last minute, and although he didn't have much time to prepare for the match, he did a great job of adjusting on the fly and it was good to see him get the win today. I thought we were in every singles match today, and we didn't give them any free points, which was great for the momentum and a huge part of why we were able to come away victorious today," Etzkin said.
The Vikings will face their final Horizon League opponent of the regular season tomorrow (Sunday, April 24), as they travel to Valparaiso for a 3:00 p.m. EST contest.
Cleveland State 5, UIC 2
1. VanMeter/Mick (CSU) vs. Cole/Granger (UIC), 4-4, unf.
2. Buffington/Goth (CSU) def. Hedstrom/Campanile (UIC), 6-4
3. Radosevic/Slade (CSU) def. Dib/Cedarkall (UIC), 6-4
1. Carl Hedstrom (UIC) def. Mirko Radosevic (CSU), 6-4, 7-5
2. Joe VanMeter (CSU) def. Christopher Cole (UIC), 7-5, 6-4
3. Colton Buffington (CSU) def. Marcelo Dib (UIC), 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Benajmin Slade (CSU) def. Mitch Granger (UIC), 6-1, 6-4
5. Max Cedarkall (UIC) def. Andre Mick (CSU), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. William Malm (CSU) def. Nate Campanile (UIC), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2