CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State men's tennis team captured the 2019 Horizon League Regular Season Championship Saturday, completing the perfect 6-0 league season following a 6-1 victory over UIC in the regular season finale. The Vikings finish the regular season with a 17-7 overall record.
PDF BOX SCORE | Cleveland State 6, UIC 1
· With the 6-1 victory over UIC the Vikings capped off a perfect 6-0 #HLMTEN slate and captured their sixth Regular Season title under head coach Brian Etzkin.
· Clark Bilinovich picked up his team-leading 28th singles win of the year, clinching the match for the Vikings at the No. 6 spot, and moving into a tie for second place on the CSU Single-Season Wins List.
· Saturday's match marked the final contest in the Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion for the Vikings this season, as they finished the year with a 9-2 record at home.
Cleveland State was able to get out to the early 1-0 advantage after picking up the doubles point, earning a 6-3 win at the top of the lineup from Nico Mostardi and Benjamin Slade, and a 7-5 win at No. 2 doubles from Matthew Terry and Luke Phillips.
The Vikings quickly added to their lead with a win at the No. 3 spot, as Phillips cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 win to put Cleveland State up 2-0.
Terry finished shortly after, giving the Vikings a 3-0 advantage after posting a 6-1, 6-1 win at the No. 2 spot, improving to 23-11 this season.
Cleveland State's clinching point came from Clark Bilinovich then, as he earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory at No. 6 singles to give the Vikings their eighth straight win.
Although UIC was able to pick up a point at the No. 4 spot, the Vikings responded by winning the remaining two matches, as Mostardi and Slade picked up wins at No. 1 and No. 5 singles, respectively.
Mostardi was able to battle for a 5-7, 6-2, 1-0(8) victory at the top of the lineup to mark his 23rd win of the season, while Slade earned a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(7) win at No. 5 singles to give him a 13-0 #HLMTEN regular season singles record over the last two years.
From The Sidelines
"We were once again able to get it done in doubles, which set us up early on to have momentum on our side. I thought one of the keys today was that when we started singles, we were able to get up early on almost every court which kept the momentum in our favor. Luke, Matt and Clark really controlled the outcome of the match for us today, giving us some quick wins, and then we were able to pick up some of the close matches which was great."
"This was the first time in a long time that we were able to post a clean record in league play, and that was one of our goals at the beginning of the season, so it feels good to accomplish that. We still have more goals that we would like to see through, so we will get back to the practice courts and look forward to the league tournament next weekend." – head coach Brian Etzkin
· Cleveland State will enter next week's Horizon League Tournament as the No. 1 seed, and will begin play with a semifinal contest on Saturday, April 27.
Doubles (1, 2)
1. Slade/Mostardi (CSU) def. Hedstrom/Parlklo (UIC), 6-3
2. Phillips/Terry (CSU) def. Wasilewicz/Wale (UIC), 7-5
3. Dib/Strandberg (UIC) vs. Bilinovich/Teichmann (CSU), 5-4, unf.
Singles (3, 2, 6, 4, 1, 5)
1. Nico Mostardi (CSU) def. Johan Hedstrom (UIC), 5-7, 6-2, 1-0(8)
2. Matthew Terry (CSU) def. Niko Wasilewicz (UIC), 6-1, 6-1
3. Luke Phillips (CSU) def. Kasper Parlklo (UIC), 6-0, 6-2
4. Anthony Nguyen (UIC) def. Raul Teichmann (CSU), 6-3, 4-3, ret.
5. Benjamin Slade (CSU) def. Kailash Panchapakesan (UIC), 6-3, 4-6, 1-0(7)
6. Clark Bilinovich (CSU) def. Pelle Strandberg (UIC), 6-3, 6-1