Tennis Teams Set For ITA Regionals this Weekend

Tennis Teams Set For ITA Regionals this Weekend

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Oct. 18, 2004

Contact: David Barry

SETTING THE SCENE: After completing a homestand early last week, both the men's and women's tennis teams will take the week to prepare for the ITA Regionals to be held this weekend, Oct. 21-24th. The men's team went 2-1 in the three matches they played last week, earning victories on Monday and Tuesday over Niagara and IPFW. The women dropped a 4-3 decision to Niagara on Monday, but came back to top IPFW, 6-1, on Tuesday. This weekend will see both the men's and women's teams head to the ITA Regionals.

The Men head to Ann Arbor, with Brad Groleski and Eric Winn in the qualifying draw for singles. Winn faces conference foe Karol Zarucki from UIC and Groleski will face Tony Epkey from Ball State. Winn/Haley will also be in the main draw for doubles. "I'm excited about our chances in both singles and doubles, coach Brian Etzkin commented. "Eric and Paul can beat anyone in doubles if they are playing well. They have experience on their side and it's nice to see them together for this tourny in their senior year. It's great to get a conference opponent in singles for Eric. It's a good preview for when we play UIC in the Spring. Brad has a kid that we know well from Midwest Junior tennis...a student-athlete we respect a lot. It should be a battle."

The women will travel to Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota for their regional tournament. The tournament will give Minnesota a chance to showcase one of the newest indoor facilities in the nation. The Vikings got the most women into the tourney in recent history. Sarah Galon, Jenn Myers, and Morgan Ungerott all got into the qualifying draw with Galon/Ungerott playing doubles in the main draw. "I was dissapointed that Sarah didn't get into the main draw this year," coach Etzkin commented. "But hopefully she can win a few matches and prove that she belongs there. Jenn is playing very well right now and I think she's ready for a good tourny. And Morgan is back with a year of experience and better attacking skills than last year...we can't wait to see how she does."

REVIEWING THE WEEK'S MATCHES: Men's Match 4: Youngstown State 4, CSU 3 (Malaga Tennis Center) Despite taking an early 3-0 lead, the men dropped a 4-3 decision to Youngstown State. Jordan Reynolds and Brett Aronson earned singles points while the men also won all three doubles matches. The match also saw Jay Tee return to action, as he and Brett Aronson posted an 8-3 victory at No. 3 doubles.

Men's Match 5: CSU 4, Niagara 3 (Malaga Tennis Center) Cleveland State overcame a 3-0 deficit to earn the 4-3 victory. The Vikings trailed early, losing the doubles point and two of the early singles matches. After Brad Groleski fought off four match points to earn a 2-6, 6-0, 7-5 victory at No. 1 singles, Dan Singer and Brett Aronson each record- ed victories at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, to pull the match to a 3-3 tie. Jordan Reynolds then won the final match of the day, a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles to secure the win for the Vikings.

Men's Match 6: CSU 7, IPFW 0 (Malaga Tennis Center) The Vikings completed a clean sweep of visiting IPFW to close the three-match homestand. The only individual match CSU lost was at No. 1 doubles. Eric Winn, Dan Singer, Jordan Reynolds, and Brett Aronson each recorded straight set victories for Cleveland State. Each of the doubles matches were decided by two points or less.

Women's Match 4: Niagara 4, CSU 3 (Malaga Tennis Center) Despite winning two of the three doubles matches to earn the doubles point, Morgan Ungerott and Lindsay Sellers provided the only other points the Vikings would see in a 4-3 loss to Niagara.

Women's Match 5: CSU 6, IPFW 1 (Malaga Tennis Center) Cleveland State rebounded to earn a 6-1 victory over visiting IPFW. The Vikings won all three doubles matches, and Jenn Myers, Morgan Ungerott, Rebekah Bicksler, and Lindsay Sellers each recorded straight set victories.

RETURN OF THE TEE: Jay Tee returned to action during the homestand after sitting out the previous three matches after back surgery. The Iowa native teamed with Brett Aronson at No. 3 doubles to post an 8-3 win on Sunday, then dropped an 8-6 decision on Monday. Tee and Aronson came back for a 9-8 (7) win on Tuesday at No. 3 against IPFW. Tee, a second- team Horizon League selection in each of the past two seasons, went 9-16 at No. 1 and No. 2 singles in 2003. He teamed with Eric Winn to post an 11-12 record as the top doubles pairing.

YOU'RE PERFECT: Freshmen Morgan Ungerott and Lindsay Sellers, as well as senior Jordan Reynolds and junior Brett Aronson each went undefeated during the course of the homestand. Ungerott recorded a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 win on Monday before a straight set win on Tuesday. Sellers posted straight set wins in both matches at No. 5. Reynolds registered straight set victories on Sunday and Tuesday, and his 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles on Monday gave the Vikings the 4-3 win over Niagara. Aronson won in straight sets in all three matches.

COACHING CONSISTENCY: Brian Etzkin returns to coach for the third season, and for the second straight year will be joined by Assistant Coach David Howell. Etzkin has compiled a combined record of 35-70 (22-30 men, 13-40 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. Howell, a native of Solon, 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.

RECORD BREAKERS:Both tennis teams took giant steps forward during the 2003-04 season. The men's 13-11 record marked the first winning season the program has seen since 1989, and the third-place finish at the Horizon League Championship was the best in school history. The women, meanwhile, won 10 matches, tying a school record for wins. Their first-round win over #3 UW-Green Bay marked the first time the women's team had ever won the opening round match in the Horizon League Championship.