Vikings Travel To Illinois State & Northern Illinois

Vikings Travel To Illinois State & Northern Illinois

Feb. 23, 2012

Contact: Renee Adam

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The Vikings will stay on the road for two contests this weekend, traveling to Illinois State and Northern Illinois. CSU will first take on Illinois State at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday (Feb. 25) before taking on Northern Illinois at 2:00 p.m. EST on Sunday (Feb. 26). Entering the weekend Cleveland State has an even 3-3 record, after posting two wins during last weekend's contests.

Illinois State enters the weekend with a 2-2 record on the year, posting wins over Xavier (4-3) and Iowa (5-2). The Red Birds will play at DePaul before taking on CSU. Last season Illinois State claimed a 5-2 victory over the Vikings.

Northern Illinois enters the weekend with a 6-2 record and will play Dayton and Western Illinois prior to Sunday's contest. The Huskies have posted two victories over Horizon League schools this season, a 5-2 win over Butler and a 6-1 win against Valparaiso. Last season the Vikings posted a 4-3 win over NIU.

Freshman Ali Shabib posted his first victory at No. 1 singles last weekend, claiming a 6-4, 6-0 win at St. Bonaventure. Shabib is just the third freshman to play at the No. 1 spot under head coach Brian Etzkin, joining Rob West and Brad Groleski.

Matt Ford enters Saturday's match on a four-match win streak, which dates back to the contest at No. 65 Princeton. Ford, who leads the Vikings with a 5-1 singles record, lost his only match of the season at Columbia (Feb. 3). This is the second time that Ford has strung together four or more wins in his career, also posting a five-match win streak that started last season and extended into this year.

Freshman Jorg Van Der Vloet had a solid outing for the Vikings last weekend, posting a 4-0 record in singles and doubles. Both of van der Vloet's singles victories came at the No. 4 spot, a 6-1, 6-3 win at St. Bonaventure and a 6-3, 6-2 win at Buffalo. At doubles he teamed up with Matt Kuelker for an 8-3 win over Buffalo and an 8-5 victory at St. Bonaventure.

Cleveland State's doubles play has improved over the past three matches, as the Vikings have picked up the doubles point against Buffalo, St. Bonaventure and Xavier. During the first three contests of the season the Vikings won just one doubles match. The duo of Nolan Marks and Ali Shabib leads CSU with three victories, while the teams of Yannick Goossens and Ben Shklyar and Matt Kuelker and Jorg Van Der Vloet each have two wins.

After his win at St. Bonaventure, Yannick Goossens now has 75 career singles wins, needing 13 more wins to move into third place on the all-time singles wins list at Cleveland State. Third place is currently held by Ryan Hamning (2006-10), who posted an 87-45 record during his career.

The Vikings will travel to No. 56 Michigan State on Saturday, March 3 for a 6:00 p.m. contest and will then host Case Western Reserve at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 4.