April 27, 2013

Vikings Advance To Championship Match With 4-3 Victory Over Detroit

April 27, 2013

Contact: Renee Adam

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Behind a balanced singles lineup and a strong doubles performance the Cleveland State men's tennis team was able to advance to the championship match of the Horizon League Tournament, with a 4-3 victory over Detroit Saturday afternoon. The second-seeded Vikings will be making their sixth straight appearance in the championship match, and will be taking on top-seeded Green Bay.

"We have been in the position where we need to make a come back so many times this season, that we really had the confidence, experience and focus to do it again today," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We have gotten very good at closing out close matches which is a very promising thing for this team. Someone different has stepped up in every match this season, and today it was Joe - he came in with confidence and gave us a huge victory in his singles match. Ali and Niklas were also clutch for us today, really battling and never giving up on the court. We are excited to get another chance at Green Bay tomorrow in the finals, hopefully we will be able to correct some of the mistakes we made last time against them and come out on top."

As they have done all season, the Vikings got out to a strong start, earning a 1-0 advantage after doubles play. CSU's No. 3 doubles team of Jorg van der Vloet and Joe VanMeter posted an 8-5 victory, while the No. 1 duo of Ali Shabib and Niklas Jonsson earned an 8-2 win. Shabib and Jonsson are now 24-6 on the season, and have won eight of their last nine matches.

The Titans were quickly able to take control of the match during the beginning of singles play, as Detroit picked up two quick victories at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. The Titans then gained a 3-1 lead with a victory at No. 5 singles, before the Vikings made their ferocious come back on the three remaining singles courts.

Jonsson, who was able to post an easy 6-2 win during the first set, battled through a tough second set to earn a 7-6 win and put the score at 3-2 Detroit with two matches remaining. Jonsson's win was his fourth straight and improved his spring record to 9-4.

VanMeter was then able to even the score at 3-3 with a three-set victory at No. 6 singles. VanMeter picked up a quick 6-2 win in the first set, then dropped the second set 6-3 and came back to defeat his opponent 6-1 in the final set.

Shabib clinched the match for the Vikings at No. 3 singles, posting his sixth win out of his last seven matches. After dropping the first set, Shabib battled back and earned a 6-3 win in the second set and a 6-0 win in the third set.

The championship match is set for a 9:00 a.m. start on Sunday (April 28) at West Indy Racquet Club in Indianapolis, Ind. (4458 Guion Road, Indianapolis. Ind., 46254)

Cleveland State 4, Detroit 3
Doubles:
1. SHABIB, Ali/JONSSON, Niklas (CSU) def. LATOSINSKY, Alex/SERRANO, Cesar E. (DETROIT) 8-2
2. MARKS, Nolan/KUELKER, Matt (CSU) vs. NUNEZ, Pablo/JOSHI, Jay (DETROIT) 7-8, unfinished
3. VAN DER VLOET, Jorg/VANMETER, Joe (CSU) def. CHEUNG, Chris/BASHA, Mike (DETROIT) 8-5

Singles:
1. BASHA, Mike (DETROIT) def. van der Vloet, Jorg (CSU) 6-2, 6-3
2. SERRANO, Cesar E. (DETROIT) def. Kuelker, Matt (CSU) 6-4, 6-2
3. Shabib, Ali (CSU) def. LATOSINSKY, Alex (DETROIT) 4-6, 6-3, 6-0
4. Jonsson, Niklas (CSU) def. NUNEZ, Pablo (DETROIT) 6-2, 7-6
5. CHEUNG, Chris (DETROIT) def. Marks, Nolan (CSU) 7-6, 6-3
6. VanMeter, Joe (CSU) def. ORANTES, Rafael (DETROIT) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1

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