CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State men's tennis team began its Horizon League slate Saturday morning, picking up a 6-1 victory over UIC.
"I thought this was a match for the men that we had to look ourselves in the mirror, and what we saw today was a good team that was able to close out the close moments and get the victory," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We played a tough non-league schedule this year and have taken a few losses because of it, but today was definitely a step in the right direction and every league win is a big league win for us."
With the victory, the Vikings now own a 16-6 record against UIC under head coach Brian Etzkin and have won 14 straight matches against Flames.
"The doubles point was key to get us off to a good start and give us the early momentum which we were able to carry through into singles play. William had a great match and got back in the win column today, but overall it was a total team effort. Every person on the court stepped up in tough situations and propelled us to the win," Etzkin said.
The Vikings were able to get on the board early, picking up the doubles point with wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Colton Buffington and William Malm earned a 6-0 victory at No. 2 doubles, while Nico Mostardi and Kevin Goth posted a 6-2 win at No. 3 doubles.
Malm quickly added to Cleveland State's lead at the start of singles play, as he cruised to a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 5 singles.
The Vikings then earned a 3-0 advantage following a 3-6, 6-0, 6-2 victory from Mostardi at No. 1 singles – his team-leading 15th singles win of the season.
The clinching point of the match came from Buffington at No. 2 singles, as he battled for a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1 victory. The Vikings were able to add two more singles wins before the match was done then, with Mirko Radosevic earning a 7-6 (8), 7-6 (2) win at the No. 3 spot and Benjamin Slade earning a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory at No. 4 singles.
With the win at No. 3 singles, Radosevic is now just four wins shy of becoming the 12th Viking all-time to reach 50 career singles wins.
Cleveland State will continue its opening weekend of Horizon League play tomorrow (Sunday, March 26), hosting Valparaiso at 10:00 a.m.
Cleveland State 6, UIC 1
1. Radosevic/Slade (CSU) vs. Hedstrom/Dib (UIC), 2-3, unf.
2. Buffington/Malm (CSU) def. Wasilewicz/De La Fuente (UIC), 6-0
3. Mostardi/Goth (CSU) def. Panchapakesan/San Andres (UIC), 6-2
1. Nico Mostardi (CSU) def. Carl Hedstrom (UIC), 3-6, 6-0, 6-2
2. Colton Buffington (CSU) def. Niko Wasilewicz (UIC), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-1
3. Mirko Radosevic (CSU) def. Marcelo Dib (UIC), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (2)
4. Benjamin Slade (CSU) def. Johan Hedstrom (UIC), 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
5. William Malm (CSU) def. K. Panchapakesan (UIC), 6-3, 6-1
6. Christian San Andres (UIC) def. Kevin Goth (CSU), 5-7, 6-2, 7-5