Men's Tennis Falls To Green Bay In HL Championship Match

Men's Tennis Falls To Green Bay In HL Championship Match

April 29, 2012

Contact: Renee Adam

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - For the first time in the past five years the Horizon League has a new men's tennis champion, as Cleveland State came up short against second-seeded Green Bay. Sunday's 4-1 finals loss puts CSU's overall record at 12-12 this season and ends the four-year win streak that the Vikings held in Horizon League championship matches

"The doubles point really hurt us today and it has a couple of times this year. Moving forward we are going to do a better job of executing and coaching at the doubles positions, so hopefully we won't be in that position again," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "The league gets harder and harder every year and winning the doubles point definitely gives you an advantage during matches. Despite dropping the doubles point I thought they fought really hard during the singles matches and picked up a couple of first sets, but we just couldn't finish out the close matches. Credit goes to Green Bay for coming out here and defeating us today."

For the second time this weekend the Vikings went into singles play needing to win four matches in order to claim the victory. CSU fell short on Sunday though, claiming just one singles win before the match was called.

The Phoenix picked up the doubles point and the early 1-0 lead with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles. Ali Shabib and Nolan Marks fell 8-2 at the No. 1 spot and Matt Kuelker and Jorg Van Der Vloet fell 8-6 at the No. 3 spot. The No. 2 doubles team of Yannick Goossens and Matt Ford was on top, 7-5, before their match was called.

van der Vloet opened singles play with a 6-3, 6-3 win at the No. 5 spot, to even the score at 1-1. That would be as close as the Vikings would get though, as Green Bay pulled out three straight singles victories for the 4-1 win.

"Jorg played a great match today, picking up our only win for us. He was playing solid tennis all weekend and I am definitely looking forward to what he can bring to the court in the coming years," Etzkin said.

The second singles match to finish was at the No. 3 spot, where Marks fell, 6-1, 6-4. The Phoenix then earned a 3-1 lead with a 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 at No. 4 singles over Shabib and clinched the match with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 decision at No. 2 singles.

At No. 6 singles Ford was beginning a third set when the match was called and Goossens was down a set, but leading 4-3 in the second.

"Green Bay has been chasing us for years and they were finally able to catch us this year," Etzkin said. "I know that our streak of league titles would eventually end and Green Bay came out firing today trying to accomplish just that."

Green Bay 4, Cleveland State 1
1. FINKENBRINK, Erik/COX, Craig (GB) def. MARKS, Nolan/SHABIB, Ali (CSU) 8-2
2. GOOSSENS, Yannick/FORD, Matt (CSU) def. TEBON, Michael/TENZER, Michael (GB) 7-5
3. GOEPPER, Felix/JESS, Henning (GB) def. KUELKER, Matt/VAN DER VLOET, Jorg (CSU) 8-6

1. SWANSON, Paul (GB) vs. Goossens, Yannick (CSU) 6-3, 3-4, unfinished
2. TENZER, Michael (GB) def. Kuelker, Matt (CSU) 6-2, 1-6, 6-4
3. FINKENBRINK, Erik (GB) def. Marks, Nolan (CSU) 6-1, 6-4
4. COX, Craig (GB) def. Shabib, Ali (CSU) 3-6, 6-0, 6-1
5. Van Der Vloet, Jorg (CSU) def. GOEPPER, Felix (GB) 6-3, 6-3
6. HOPFE, Christoph (GB) vs. Ford, Matt (CSU) 3-6, 7-5, unfinished