Feb. 8, 2013
Contact: Renee Adam
"I was very happy with our doubles performances today, we have made much improvement over the first couple weeks of the season. We worked almost exclusively on that throughout practice last week so it is nice to see it paying off," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We played ahead the whole time at No. 1 and No. 3 and were able to come back at No. 2 to sweep the doubles, which really shows how we will be able to progress throughout the season. I was pleased with the energy that we had and I am looking forward to building on everything that we saw today down the stretch."
The Vikings were able to gain an early 1-0 lead after sweeping the doubles matches Friday, including an 8-5 victory at the No. 1 spot from Ali Shabib and Niklas Jonsson - their third straight doubles victory of the spring season. CSU also got wins from Joe VanMeter and Nolan Marks at No. 2 doubles and Matt Kuelker and Matt Ford at the No. 3 position.
After WMU evened the match with a victory at No. 4 singles, Shabib put Cleveland State back on top with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 3 singles. Shabib's victory marked his second straight of the spring season.
The Broncos were then able to pull out wins in the final four singles matches - earning the 5-2 victory. Jorg van der Vloet (No. 1), Nolan Marks (No. 5) and Niklas Jonsson (No. 6) all pushed their matches to three sets, before eventually falling at WMU.
"I have to credit Western Michigan for the win today, they handled the pressure well on the court and they were able to take advantage of the big points and come out victorious. In the future if we can do better in the big moments we will be able to turn around some of the close matches that we have had this year. By the end of the season we need to be able to close the gap and do better under pressure. We know where we need to make improvements, and we just didn't get it done today. Tomorrow we will play a team that is on the same level and we are all looking forward to putting it on the line again tomorrow against Illinois State," Etzkin said.
Next up for the Vikings will be an 11:00 a.m. contest tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 9) morning against Illinois State. The CSU vs. Illinois State will also take place at Western Michigan.
Western Michigan 5, Cleveland State 2
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