Posted: May 02, 2019
CLEVELAND, Ohio - For the second straight year, the Cleveland State men's tennis team will be making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, traveling to No. 1 Ohio State for a First Round contest on Friday, May 3. The Vikings, who earned their seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament after capturing the Horizon League Championship last weekend, enter NCAA Tournament play with a 19-7 overall record, while the Buckeyes stand at 29-2 this spring.
Joining the Vikings in the Ohio State bracket will be Notre Dame and Vanderbilt, with the winners of both First Round matches meeting on Saturday, May 4 in a Second Round contest. All matches this weekend are scheduled to be played at the Ohio State Outdoor Tennis Courts (2491 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, Ohio, 43210)
Friday, May 3
11:00 a.m. | Notre Dame vs. Vanderbilt
2:00 p.m. | Cleveland State vs. Ohio State
Saturday, May 4
TBA | Second Round Match
CLEVELAND STATE IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
This will be the seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament for the Vikings, with all seven appearances coming under head coach Brian Etzkin. The Vikings will be trying for their first win in NCAA Tournament play, as they currently stand at 0-6 in NCAA Tournament matches.
ENTERING THE TOURNAMENT
The Vikings own a 19-7 overall record and have won 10 straight matches - marking the third time in program history that they have won 10 or more consecutive matches. Individually, five Vikings enter Friday's match with singles winstreaks, as Clark Bilinovich (9), Benjamin Slade (8), Nico Mostardi (7), Matthew Terry (7), and Luke Phillips (6) all have extended win streaks.
HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
For the seventh time in program history - and the second straight year - the Vikings captured the Horizon League Tournament title last weekend, picking up back-to-back wins against IUPUI and UIC to earn the 2019 crown. Cleveland State entered the tournament as the top seed, after also claiming the Horizon League Regular season title. Cleveland State's seven tournament titles are tied for the second most in league history, while the Vikings are now just the second team to win back-to-back titles on multiple occasions.
19 WINS & COUNTING
Entering NCAA Tournament play Cleveland State owns 19 wins on the year - the third highest single-season win total in program history. This marks the third time that the Vikings have eclipsed the 19-win mark, while one more win would tie the program record for wins in a season (20). Cleveland State's 19-7 record marks the 14th winning season during head coach Brian Etzkin's 17 seasons at the helm.
SIX VIKINGS NOTCH 20-WIN CAMPAIGNS
For the first time under head coach Brian Etzkin six Vikings have eclipsed the 20-win mark for the season, as all six Vikings in the singles lineup have 20 or more wins this year. Luke Phillips and Benjamin Slade both recorded their 20th singles wins last weekend in #HLMTEN Tournament play, while Raul Teichmann (20), Nico Mostardi (24), Matthew Terry (25), and Clark Bilinovich (29) eclipsed the plateau earlier this season.
…BILINOVICH ON CSU SINGLE-SEASON WINS LIST
Last weekend, freshman Clark Bilinovich recorded his team-best 29th singles win of the year, tying the program record for wins in a single-season. Bilinovich, who is one of 16 Vikings all-time with a 20-win campaign, would become the first Viking to reach the 30-win milestone with one more win this season.
SLADE & MOSTARDI ON CSU SINGLES WINS LIST
Entering NCAA Tournament play, Benjamin Slade and Nico Mostardi both rank in the top-10 on the CSU Singles Wins List - Slade ranking sixth with 80 career wins and Mostardi ranking ninth with 70 victories. Last weekend, Slade became the sixth Viking all-time to record 80 career singles wins after picking up a win against UIC, while Mostardi became the ninth Viking all-time with 70+ wins after clinching the championship match against the Flames.
MOSTARDI NAMED HORIZON LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
After posting a perfect 6-0 record at the top of the singles lineup in regular season league matches, junior Nico Mostardi was named the Horizon League Player of the Year. Mostardi picked up player of the year honors for the second straight year, becoming the first Viking all-time to earn multiple player of the year accolades. Among league players, Mostardi is the sixth to be named Player of the Year on more than one occasion.
TERRY & PHILLIPS NAMED ALL-LEAGUE
Matthew Terry and Luke Phillips both earned a spot on the All-Horizon League Second Team earlier this season, picking up all-league accolades for the second straight year. During regular season play, Terry and Phillips combined to go 10-2 against league opponents at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, while they became the seventh and eighth Vikings all-time to be two-time Second Team All-League honorees.
HEAD COACH BRIAN ETZKIN
Brian Etzkin is in his 17th year at the helm of the Vikings, owning a 254-177 dual match record. Etzkin has guided the Vikings to seven Horizon League Tournament titles and seven trips to the NCAA Tournament during his tenure. Etzkin, who is the all-time winningest coach in program history, was named the 2019 Horizon League Coach of the Year, his fourth coach of the year honor.