April 28, 2013
Contact: Renee Adam
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - For the fifth time in the last six years the Cleveland State men's tennis team captured the Horizon League Championship, defeating top-seeded Green Bay, 4-3 Sunday afternoon. The Vikings advanced to the championship match for the sixth straight season, after taking down No. 6 seed Detroit in the semifinals.
"This was a tremendous match for us today, everyone was playing great and we were really focused on every court," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "For this team to win the championship is just awesome. They have worked so hard throughout the season to get where they are and we really needed everyone to contribute today, which they did. This was a total team effort from the start of doubles play throughout the singles lineup. I am so proud of everyone on this team and everything we have accomplished so far this season."
The Vikings were once again able to get off to a quick start, pulling out two tough doubles victories to earn the 1-0 advantage heading into singles play. At No. 1 doubles, Ali Shabib and Niklas Jonsson posted an 8-4 victory, while the No. 3 duo of Jorg van der Vloet and Joe VanMeter came from behind to earn an 8-6 win. Shabib and Jonsson now stand at 25-6 overall this season, while van der Vloet and VanMeter are 6-3 on the spring.
"The doubles point was crucial for us today and we knew it would be. After we were able to earn the early advantage we had a lot of momentum going into singles play and that definitely carried over. We had some solid singles wins today and I had a lot of confidence with Niklas being the last match on the court. Niklas really battled his way back into the match after getting down after the second set. I knew once he was able to get his serve going he would be in good shape as long as he kept his focus and played his style of tennis."
Green Bay was able to even the score at 1-1 with a victory at No. 5 singles, before Ali Shabib battled out a tough two-set victory at No. 3 singles - giving CSU the 2-1 advantage. The Phoenix once again evened the score at 2-2 with a victory at No. 6 singles, but the Vikings responded with a win at No. 1 singles. van der Vloet got revenge for an earlier loss to his Phoenix opponent, as he pulled out a 6-4, 6-2 victory.
The Phoenix held strong throughout the No. 2 singles match, as Green Bay knotted the match up at 3-3 with a victory at the No. 2 spot. The No. 4 singles match was the final match on the court Sunday afternoon, with Niklas Jonsson picking up a 6-2 win in set two, but falling 7-5 in the second set. Jonsson was able to battle back and use his strong serve to earn a 6-3 win in set three - clinching the match for the Vikings.
The Vikings will now wait and see where they will be sent for the NCAA Championship, with the selection show taking place at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday (April 30). Check back to CSUVikings.com for more information on a viewing party.
Cleveland State 4, Green Bay 3
1. JONSSON, Niklas/SHABIB, Ali (CSU) def. FINKENBRINK, Erik/COX, Craig (UWGB) 8-4
2. SCOTT, Howard/TEBON, Michael (UWGB) def. MARKS, Nolan/KUELKER, Matt (CSU) 8-4
3. VAN DER VLOET, Jorg/VANMETER, Joe (CSU) def. TENZER, Michael/LETO, Joey (UWGB) 8-6
1. van der Vloet, Jorg (CSU) def. TENZER, Michael (UWGB) 6-4, 6-2
2. FINKENBRINK, Erik (UWGB) def. Kuelker, Matt (CSU) 7-5, 6-2
3. Shabib, Ali (CSU) def. COX, Craig (UWGB) 6-3, 7-6
4. Jonsson, Niklas (CSU) def. SCOTT, Howard (UWGB) 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
5. GOMEZ, Leopold (UWGB) def. Marks, Nolan (CSU) 6-2, 6-1
6. ISAAKS, Rowan (UWGB) def. VanMeter, Joe (CSU) 6-2, 6-4