Feb. 15, 2005
Setting the Scene: The men's and women's tennis teams head to Toledo on Saturday (Feb. 19) for a 2:00 p.m. match at the Laurel Hill Tennis Club. The women's team will then head north to East Lansing for a match with Michigan State beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday (Feb. 20).
Previewing the Vikings: The Cleveland State women's team holds a 6-4 overall record, including a 3-2 mark in the fall portion of the season. The Vikings have reeled off three-straight wins since dropping their first two to open the spring season, claiming 7-0 wins over St. Bonaventure and Robert Morris (1/30) before taking a 5-2 decision over Oakland (2/11). Sophomore Marcella Capozziello leads the team so far this spring, winning four matches at No. 6 singles, while sophomore Sarah Galon and freshmen Jenn Myers and Lindsay Sellers have three wins each. The men's squad touts a 4-6 overall mark and an 0-1 Horizon League record. After dropping a pair of tough road losses to Michigan State and Xavier, CSU rallied back from a 3-0 deficit against St. Bonaventure for a 4-3 win. Since then, the Vikings were upended by Dayton by a 7-0 score. Senior Eric Winn has scored a pair of individual wins this spring, while the No. 3 doubles combo of Jay Tee and Brett Aronson has tallied two wins.
Previewing the Rockets: Toledo's women's squad heads into a Friday (Feb. 18) match with Duquesne with a 4-2 record in dual meets and a 2-1 record at home. The Rockets dropped a 4-3 match to Butler on Feb. 4 after opening the spring with two wins at home against Youngstown State and Wright State. UT is led by junior No. 1 player Myriam Cueva who touts a 5-1 record this season in dual meet action. The men's team sports a 2-5 dual meet record, with wins coming against Kenyon and Dayton. Iowa handed UT a 7-0 loss in their last match, scoring a win in one doubles match. Sophomore Josh Moran paces the Rockets with a 4-3 record, playing mostly at No. 3 singles.
Previewing the Spartans: The Michigan State women's team holds a 5-2 overall mark and a spotless 5-0 record at home after defeating Ball State on Sunday (Feb. 13) by a 6-1 score. Keri Thompson leads the Spartans with a 5-2 record at No. 1 singles, winning her last five straight. The Viking men's team played at East Lansing back on Jan. 22, falling by a 7-0 score.
Etzkin Returns To MSU: The Vikings trip to Michigan State on Sunday will be somewhat of a homecoming for head coach Brian Etzkin. The third year Cleveland State mentor spent the previous two seasons as the Spartan's men's assistant coach. During that time, he helped the MSU squad to a 21-30 mark while serving as the recruiting coordinator.
Women's Team Records Third Straight Against Oakland: The women's tennis team won its third consecutive match, defeating Oakland, 5-2, on Feb. 11 at River Oaks Racquet Club in Rocky River. The doubles point easily went to Cleveland State as the Vikings claimed all three matches, allowing the Grizzlies to claim just six total games. Sarah Galon then got things going in singles action, posting a 6-2, 6-2 victory at No. 1. After Oakland claimed the match at No. 2, Jenn Myers got CSU back on track with a 5-7, 6-4, 10-5 win at No. 3. Lindsay Sellers and Marcella Capozziello rounded out the evening for the Vikings with a pair of straight-set victories.
Men Rally Back to Beat Bonnies: After trailing 3-0 to St. Bonaventure, the men's team grinded out four straight wins to take a 4-3 victory at the River Oaks Racquet Club on Jan. 30. The Vikings found themselves in a 3-0 hole early on after dropping the doubles point and their first two singles matches. Sophomore Dan Singer, however, got things rolling in the Vikings' favor, winning the No. 5 singles match in three before senior No. 2 Eric Winn claimed a three-set victory. Junior No. 4 Jay Tee added a three set victory of his own to set up senior Jordan Reynolds in the deciding match. Reynolds gutted out a 6-1, 2-6, 7-5 nail-biter at No. 6 singles after being down 5-1 in the third set, rallying off six straight games to claim the set, match and the victory for the Vikings.
Aloha from Cleveland: You would think that a native of Hawaii would find the weather in Cleveland a little less than inviting. But sophomore No. 1 Sarah Galon has thrived on the shores of Lake Erie, as the Waianae, Ha. native is the team leader with eight wins. Last season, Galon had one of the best first years of any Cleveland State player, being named the Horizon League's Newcomer of Year and to the all-league first team after leading the Vikings with an 18-9 record as the No. 1.
Don't Mess With Texas: Cleveland State seniors Paul Haley and Eric Winn know about playing big. The Lone Star State natives have been staples in the Cleveland State lineup for the past three and a half seasons, combining for 71 wins to date, with both players seeing regular time at No. 1 singles during their careers. The tandem has also teamed up at No. 1 doubles for three of the past four seasons, tallying 15 wins during that span.
Road Trip Anyone?: The Cleveland State tennis teams will be spending a lot of time away from Cleveland for the next two months as the Vikings will see playing time at Malaga Tennis Center only once in February and March. CSU will play a total of 19 matches on the road this spring, with all of them being played from Feb. 19 to April 2, while playing only Oakland and Chicago State at home on March 5 during that span. The Vikings will somewhat make up for the travels at the end of the season, however, playing their last seven contests before the Horizon League Championships at Malaga.
The Coaches: Brian Etzkin is in his third season at the helm of the Viking tennis teams, holding a combined record of 44-90 (26-45 men, 18-45 women). He has been given the task reviving the men's tennis program, which returned in 2000 after an eight-year hiatus. Prior to his arrival at Cleveland State, Etzkin spent two years as an assistant at Western Illinois before being named an assistant coach at Michigan State. He is assisted by David Howell, a native of Solon, who joined the program after spending a season as interim head coach at Allegheny College. A standout player for Allegheny from '96-00, Howell served as assistant coach at St. Lawrence University from 2001-02. Also assisting as a volunteer is Teresa Boylan, who returns to Cleveland State after serving as head coach from 1997-2001.
Next Up: The Viking women's team makes the Wisconsin swing next weekend, battling UW-Green Bay at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25 before heading south to UW-Milwaukee for a 5:00 p.m. match on Saturday, Feb. 26. The men's team remains idle next week until co-hosting Chicago State with the women's team on March 5 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at River Oaks Racquet Club.