INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – For the fourth straight week the Cleveland State men's tennis team has been recognized by the Horizon League, as junior Nico Mostardi has been named the Singles Player of the Week and the duo of Mostardi and Benjamin Slade has been named the Doubles Team of the Week. This marks the second straight honor for Mostardi, and the second time this season that Mostardi & Slade have been honored.
Last weekend, the Vikings went 2-1 to close out an eight-match homestand, picking up wins against Buffalo (4-3) and Wooster (7-0) to improve to 9-6 on the season.
Playing at No. 1 singles, Mostardi went 3-0 on the weekend, picking up a trio of straight-set wins against Buffalo (6-1, 6-1), Xavier (6-3, 6-2) and Wooster (6-0, 6-0). The three wins extended Mostardi's singles winstreak to six straight matches, while he now stands at 17-8 overall this year and 9-4 during dual match play.
Mostardi finished the weekend with 63 career singles wins, moving into ninth place on the CSU Singles Wins List as one of just 11 Vikings all-time with 60+ victories on their career.
"For the majority of the season, Nico has been sustaining a pretty high level of tennis and competitiveness, and it has been fun to watch," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "He's becoming more consistent with his mindset and how he competes, and has been seeing all of his hard work throughout the year start to pay off on the court."
In doubles action, Mostardi and Slade went undefeated at No. 1 doubles, earning a pair of 6-0 victories against Buffalo and Wooster and a 6-3 win against Xavier. The duo helped the Vikings capture the doubles point against Buffalo and Wooster, as Cleveland State has now earned the doubles point six times this spring.
As a tandem, Mostardi and Slade own a team-best 12-5 doubles record this year, including a 7-4 mark this spring – all at the top of the doubles lineup.
For their careers, Mostardi and Slade have 20 wins as a doubles team, which ranks them 10th on the CSU Team Doubles Wins List. Individually, Slade ranks ninth with 63 doubles wins on his career as one of just 11 Vikings all-time with 60+ doubles wins.
"Ben and Nico were on a roll this weekend, picking up two shutouts in three matches. They are finding their stride at the right time and we know we have a great chance to win a doubles point when we get a win at the top of the lineup," Etzkin said. "The way that Ben and Nico have been playing lately helps create some depth and flexibility at the other two doubles spots, which helps us as we continue to improve our doubles as a team."
Next up for Cleveland State will be its annual Spring Break Trip, as the Vikings are set to travel to the state of Georgia for a pair of matches against Mercer (Sunday, March 10) and Kennesaw State (Wednesday, March 13).