WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the third straight year the Cleveland State men's tennis team has earned an appearance in the Horizon League Championship match, as the top-seeded Vikings defeated No. 4 IUPUI 4-0 in Saturday's semifinal contest.
· With Saturday's 4-0 victory over IUPUI in the #HLMTEN semifinals, the Vikings will be making their 10th championship match appearance under head coach Brian Etzkin.
· Over the last 17 seasons, the Vikings now own a 27-10 record in Horizon League Tournament play.
· When playing as the No. 1 seed, the Vikings now stand at 9-0 in #HLMTEN tournament play.
· With his 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 3 singles against IUPUI, Luke Phillips picked up his 20th singles win of the year, becoming the fifth Viking to reach the milestone this season.
· Clark Bilinovich picked up his team-leading 29th singles win of the season on Saturday, and is tied for the program record for wins in a single-season.
· With their win at the top of the doubles lineup, Nico Mostardi and Benjamin Slade picked up their team-leading 17th doubles win of the year, and are now tied for fourth on the CSU Doubles Wins List with 25 career victories.
· Cleveland State now stands at 18-7 overall this year.
For the sixth straight match the Vikings were able to pick up the early 1-0 lead, after battling for the doubles point with wins at the top two spots. Matthew Terry and Luke Phillips earned a 6-3 win at the No. 2 spot, while Nico Mostardi and Benjamin Slade clinched the doubles point with a 6-4 win at the top of the lineup.
The Vikings were then able to win first sets on four of the six singles courts, giving Cleveland State the early momentum midway through singles play.
Cleveland State's second point of the day came from Phillips at the No. 3 spot, as he picked up his sixth straight singles win in a 7-5, 6-3 victory.
Terry then gave the Vikings a 3-0 advantage with a straight-set win at No. 2 singles, earning a 6-4, 6-3 victory, notching his 24th win of the season.
Cleveland State's clinching point came from Clark Bilinovich then, as he battled for a 6-4, 7-5 victory at the No. 6 singles spot, marking his 20th singles win during dual match play.
From The Sidelines
"I thought the energy in doubles was really good today, our No. 2 doubles team was able to turn around a 1-3 deficit and win five straight games, which helped keep our energy high on the other courts. This energy helped us pick up the early doubles point, and keep the momentum in our favor to start singles play."
"In singles, we were able to pick up four tight first sets, which kept the pressure on IUPUI, and although we dropped the opening sets on the other courts, we were able to bounce back and win the second sets to keep the momentum in our favor."
"This was a good match for us to get pushed just enough in the semifinal today, because it's hard to come in and play your first match in the semifinal, but now we will be focused and ready to go for tomorrow. I give a lot of credit to IUPUI for fighting hard today, and giving us a tough semifinal match, overall this was a good collegiate match to have in the tournament semifinals." – head coach Brian Etzkin
Cleveland State will now take on the winner of No. 2 Youngstown State/No. 3 UIC in the 2019 Horizon League Championship match tomorrow (Sunday, April 28) at 11:00 a.m.
Doubles (2, 3, 1)
1. Mostardi/Slade (CSU) def. Jochim/Morehart (IUPUI), 6-4
2. Phillips/Terry (CSU) def. Luetschwager/Whittaker (IUPUI), 6-3
3. Bailey/Budiono (IUPUI) def. Bilinovich/Teichmann (CSU), 6-3
Singles (3, 2, 6)
1. Nico Mostardi (CSU) vs. Alex Jochim (IUPUI), 7-5, 4-5, unf.
2. Matthew Terry (CSU) def. Sean Bailey (IUPUI), 6-4, 6-3
3. Luke Phillips (CSU) def. Colton Morehart (IUPUI), 7-5, 6-3
4. Raul Teichmann (CSU) vs. Ethan Budiono (IUPUI), 5-7, 6-3, unf.
5. Benjamin Slade (CSU) vs. Eric Hollingsworth (IUPUI), 6-7(4), 6-3, unf.
6. Clark Bilinovich (CSU) def. Bradley Luetschwager (IUPUI), 6-4, 7-5