INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Despite a pair of singles wins at the top of the lineup from Nico Mostardi and Colton Buffington, the Cleveland State men's tennis team dropped a close battle at IUPUI Friday evening, falling to the Jaguars 4-3.
The Vikings were able to pick up the doubles point for the fifth time this season Friday, claiming wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Mostardi and Andre Mick posted their team-leading fifth doubles win at the No. 2 spot, earning a 7-5 victory, while William Malm and Benjamin Slade battled for a 7-6 (11) win at No. 3 doubles.
"This was another tough match for us today, and this was definitely a tough roadswing for us, but it was a learning experience and a growing opportunity for our young team. We definitely missed Mirko this week in the lineup, and hopefully he will have a quick return from injury to help us out in the coming weeks," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "Today's match was another really close contest and a great battle, unfortunately we weren't able to get the victory. We were able to get up early with the doubles point and then Nico and Colton gave us a 3-0 lead, but we just weren't able to pull out the final four points."
Cleveland State then added to its lead with back-to-back victories at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, with Mostardi and Buffington giving the Vikings a 3-0 lead.
Buffington picked up Cleveland State's first singles win of the match, cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 2 singles. Then at the top of the lineup, Mostardi posted a 6-0, 6-3 win, picking up his team-leading 11th singles victory of the season.
"I need to give a lot of credit to Nico and Colton, because they always show up in the close matches and are able to put some points on the board for us playing at the top of the singles lineup. After they gave us the large advantage we needed just one more point, but it didn't happen for us today," Etzkin said. "This loss definitely stung, but we are anxious to get back on the practice courts next week and continue moving forward."
Despite holding a 3-0 advantage with four singles matches left on the courts, the Vikings weren't able to pick up the final point they needed to clinch the match, as IUPUI stormed back to pick up wins on all four remaining singles courts for the 4-3 victory.
Cleveland State will return home next weekend, hosting Buffalo on Saturday, February 25 and Ball State and St. Bonaventure on Sunday, February 26.
IUPUI 4, Cleveland State 3
1. Luetschwager/Newis (IUPUI) def. Buffington/Goth (CSU), 6-4
2. Mostardi/Mick (CSU) def. Beasley/Moe (IUPUI), 7-5
3. Malm/Slade (CSU) def. Nalley/Christie (IUPUI), 7-6 (11)
1. Nico Mostardi (CSU) def. Jose Calero (IUPUI), 6-0, 6-3
2. Colton Buffington (CSU) def. Jac Newis (IUPUI), 6-3, 6-2
3. Steven Christie (IUPUI) def. William Malm (CSU), 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-1
4. David Beasley (IUPUI) def. Benjamin Slade (CSU), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
5. Marcus Nalley (IUPUI) def. Jack Santilli (CSU), 6-4, 6-2
6. Bradley Luetschwager (IUPUI) def. Kevin Goth (CSU), 6-0, 7-6 (5)