ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Cleveland State men's tennis teams' upset bid at the 2017 Horizon League Championship came up short Sunday afternoon, as the sixth-seeded Vikings fell to top-seeded and Regular Season Champion Valparaiso, 4-3.
The Vikings were the first six seed in Horizon League history to make an appearance in the championship match, and were playing for the league title for the eighth time over the last 10 seasons.
After dropping the doubles point for the second time during the Horizon League Tournament, the Vikings were once again forced to play solid singles play.
Despite getting out to a strong start on the majority of the singles courts, the Vikings got down early 3-0 after Valparaiso was able to pick up wins at the top two spots of the singles lineup.
Cleveland State's first point of the championship match came at No. 6 singles, with Kevin Goth posting a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory to put the score at 3-1 Crusaders.
The Vikings were then able to come within one point following a win at the No. 4 spot, with Mirko Radosevic posting a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win putting the score at 3-2 Valpo.
Cleveland State's third straight singles win of the match came at No. 3 singles then, with Benjamin Slade knotting the match scoreat 3-3 following a 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 Viking victory.
The deciding point came down to No. 5 singles then, with Cleveland State's William Malm battling back for a 7-6 (2) tiebreak victory in the second set after dropping the opening frame 6-2. The third and deciding set also went to a tiebreaker, with Malm fighting back from a 5-2 deficit, but coming up just short in a 7-6 (4) tiebreak score for the 4-3 Valparaiso match victory.
For the tournament weekend, the quartet of Slade, Radosevic and Goth all picking up a pair of singles wins.
Cleveland State was playing in its third match in as many days, as the Vikings picked up a first round victory over No. 3 Green Bay (4-3) and a semifinal win over No. 2 Detroit Mercy (4-1).