February 4, 2012

Ford Earns Lone Victory As Vikings Fall To Princeton

Feb. 4, 2012

Contact: Renee Adam

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PRINCETON, N.J. - Matt Ford earned a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles, as the Cleveland State men's tennis team fell to No. 65 Princeton, 6-1 Saturday afternoon. The Tigers are the first ranked opponent for CSU this season, and according to the latest ITA rankings, they will be the first of two (Michigan State).

"I think we definitely improved form day one to day two this weekend, and overall I think we have improved every time that we step on the court," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "Ford, who got us on the board with his victory at No. 5 singles, was in control during his entire match. He played with passion and Viking pride and was very disciplined on the court."

Ford, who posted his second victory of the season Saturday afternoon, earned the 6-2, 6-3 win over Princeton's Coleman Crutchfield.

"I went out and tried to play the correct percentages and smart tennis, because I knew if I did that I would be able to pull through with the win," Ford said. "Playing against a high-level team like Princeton definitely gives us something to work towards throughout the season. This was a good way for us to see where we are at as a team and what we need to work on in the coming weeks."

The Tigers also had three players ranked individually in the latest ITA rankings, including their No. 1 singles player Matija Pecotic. Pecotic, who is ranked No. 46, earned a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Ali Shabib at No. 1 singles.

Shabib along with Nolan Marks led the Vikings during doubles play, as they battled with the 11th ranked duo of Matt Spindler and Matt Siow. Despite their hard fought efforts, Shabib and Marks dropped an 8-5 decision to the Princeton duo.

Matt Kuelker was another highlight for the Vikings Saturday afternoon, as he pushed Princeton's Augie Bloom at the No. 2 position. Kuelker came close during both sets against Bloom, as he fell 6-4, 6-4.

"Kuelker pushed is guy for the second straight match, and eventually he is going to have a breakthrough match and get the win," Etzkin said. "Everyone got better today and I am certainly happy with that. We are going to work hard this week and be ready for Xavier at home."

The Vikings will return home next weekend when they host Xavier at 5:00 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 10). The men will be playing simultaneously with the women's team, as they try to set a program attendance record at the Paramount Tennis Club in Westlake, Ohio.

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