The Viking Report (Jan. 8)

Jan. 8, 2008

Contact: Brian McCann

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The Viking Report. . . A Look At What Is Happening In Cleveland State Athletics

First Place Basketball Teams Take To The Road. . . Wrestling & Swimming Stay Home For Non-Conference Competition

After both teams swept Horizon League doubleheaders at home last week, the men's and women's basketball teams, each of whom sit atop the league standings, will take to the road for the first time in league play.

The men's basketball team, which is off to its best start since 1992-93, will stay relatively close to home, playing at Detroit on Thursday (Jan. 10) and at Wright State on Saturday (Jan. 12). Both games are set for a 7:00 p.m. start with the Detroit contest being televised live on SportsTime Ohio.

The women's basketball squad will make its annual trek to Wisconsin, playing at Green Bay on Thursday (Jan. 10) and at Milwaukee on Saturday (Jan. 12). The Vikings take a five-game win streak into the week, the program's longest since 1983-84.

The wrestling team will take part in a pair of dual meets this week. The Vikings will wrestle at Kent State on Tuesday night (Jan. 8) before returning home to host Eastern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 7:00 p.m. in Woodling Gym.

The men's and women's swimming teams end a month-long layoff by hosting Xavier, Duquesne and Canisius on Saturday (Jan. 12) in Busbey Natatorium. The quad-meet begins at 1:00 p.m.

Men's Basketball Puts First Place On The Line At Detroit & Wright State. . .
At Midway Point Of The Year, Vikings Have Already Matched Last Season's Win Totals

Off to their best start in 15 years, the men's basketball team (10-5, 3-0 HL) will take to the road for the first time in league play when the Vikings play at Detroit on Thursday (Jan. 10) and at Wright State on Saturday (Jan. 12) this week.

The Vikings enter the week all alone in first place in the Horizon League after sweeping Loyola (63-55) and UIC (68-51) at home last week. The win over the Ramblers snapped an 11-game losing streak to Loyola while the victory over UIC snapped a five-game losing streak against the Flames in the Wolstein Center.

"We held serve last week and that's what you have to do if you want to be successful in this league," head coach Gary Waters said. "By defending our home court last week, we put ourselves in a position where we can go on the road this week and continue to make inroads towards a successful league finish. Unfortunately, after our performance last week, I don't think we'll be able to sneak up to anybody else."

Solid defense continues to be the Vikings mantra as CSU held both opponents to under 40-percent shooting last week, including a season-low .286 shooting by UIC on Saturday. The Vikings averaged just 12.0 turnovers a game and out-rebounded their opponents by 14 over the two contests.

Kevin Francis sparked CSU off the bench, connecting on a career-high four three-pointers as part of a season-high 14 points against Loyola and he came back to grab a career-high 13 rebounds against UIC, the most by a Viking player this year.

Women's Basketball Travels To Wisconsin For Two Games. . .
First Place Vikings Have Won Five Straight

Cleveland State (8-5, 2-0 HL) will take its five game win streak to Wisconsin for a pair of games this week, beginning with a Thursday (Jan. 10) night contest at Green Bay. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. CST. The Vikings will then play at Milwaukee, the preseason favorite to win the league, on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 2:00 p.m. CST.

Thursday's contest at Green Bay will pit two of the four undefeated teams in the league as the Phoenix and Youngstown State join the Vikings if first place with 2-0 records. Valparaiso is 1-0.

CSU ran its win streak to five with a pair of wins last week at home. The Vikings started the week by defeating Loyola, 75-58, on Thursday, Jan. 3, before knocking off UIC, 66-58, on Saturday, Jan. 5. It is CSU's first five-game winning streak since 1983-84.

"I am thrilled to be coaching this team and we are thrilled to have won five straight games," head coach Kate Peterson Abiad said. "We have been building to get to this point, but we know that we need to improve and get better to be where we want to be. We have to put 40 minutes of good basketball together. We are playing with a lot of confidence now and need to carry that over to our games in Wisconsin this week."

Junior Dominique Butler paced the Vikings last week as she averaged 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game, while shooting .600 (12-20) from the field. Sophomore Kailey Klein, who is second in the league in scoring (18.3 ppg) added a game-high 21 points in the win over UIC.

Wrestling Faces Kent State & Eastern Michigan. . .

The Cleveland State wrestling team travels to Kent, Ohio for a dual meet against Kent State on Tuesday(Jan. 8), at 7:05 p.m., and then returns home to Woodling Gym for a dual meet against Eastern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 7:00 p.m.

The Vikings registered a 2-1 dual meet record this past weekend at the Buffalo Duals, defeating Mercyhurst (19-17) and West Liberty (23-16) before falling to host school Buffalo (16-15). Freshmen Robbie Michaels (157), and Eric Schwartz (285), junior Marcus Effner (165) and senior Ryan Hurley (149) all had 3-0 days in leading the team.

"It was a real tough day," said head coach Jack Effner, "There were certainly some positives, and it was nice to win two of our duals. We are going to be tougher because of today, but we have a lot of work to do and we hope to turn the corner."

Michaels (22-4) became the first Viking to reach the 20 win plateau for the season at Buffalo, and is undefeated in dual meets at 4-0. Senior Ryan Hurley (10-3 overall, 149) is also 4-0 in dual meets for the year and leads the team with 16 dual meet points.

"Kent is very talented and highly regarded," Effner said, "We have to go in there with confidence and focus and get mean."

CSU is 8-12-1 all time against Kent State and 9-3 all time against Eastern Michigan. The Vikings have lost their last three meetings with the Golden Flashes by an average score of 25-10 with the last CSU win coming in the 2003-04 season. Meanwhile, CSU has won its last four meetings with the Eagles of EMU and five of its last six, with the only loss to the Eagles under the current coaching staff coming in the 2000-01 season.

Swimming Hosts Canisius, Duquesne & Xavier. . .

The CSU men's and women's swimming and diving teams will return home this weekend to host a quad meet at the Busbey Natatorium this Saturday, Jan. 12 beginning at 1:00 p.m. Xavier, Duquesne, and Canisius will compete against both teams in the day long event.

In their last competition at the Holiday Invitational, held on Sunday, Jan. 6 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the Viking men won five of five events to win the two-team invite, which swam against SUNY-Cortland. The women placed third while competing against SUNY-Cortland and New York University. The invitational was part of the team's annual winter training trip, which continues until Thursday, Jan. 10 of this week.

"Our purpose was to get good hard training in," assistant coach Andrew Hancock said, "To perform this well is very good to see."

"We had standout performances from Khaled Elegamal and Lesley Jones in practice, and the two of them really stepped up their training to lead the team in our workouts," Hancock continued.

The men's swimming and diving team closed 2007 with a 9-3 record in dual meets, and sophomore Jakub Dobies has now won three straight Horizon League swimmer of the week awards following his performance at Miami (OH). Dobies is the school record holder in the 100 breaststroke (53.77, 2/22/07) and has three of the top times in the country this season in the 50 yard freestyle (20.70) 100 breast (54.03), and 200 breast (2:00.43). His times in the 100 and 200 breast are NCAA "B" qualifying marks for the year, and his times in the 50 free and 200 breast are school and league records.

The women's swimming and diving team finished the 2007 portion of the schedule 2-5 overall in dual meets, but success cannot be measured purely in terms of wins and losses for the Vikings. The women are led by Senior Lesley Jones who leads by example every day. "Jones has really stepped up her training, and she is working hard to finish her senior season strong," Hancock said. The Vikings are improving their best times every time they compete, as one can clearly see by the fact that 24 different Vikings had their best times at Miami (OH).

The men's and women's diving teams did not travel to Florida this week, but continue training hard at home in preparation for this coming weekend.

Viking High Fives

CSU Student-Athletes: Over 300 Vikings student-athletes in 17 sports combined to post a 3.10 grade point average during fall semester, with 99 being named to the Dean's List and six recording perfect 4.0 averages.

Brittany Korth: The senior women's basketball player played in her 100th career game as the Vikings defeated UIC on Saturday.

J'Nathan Bullock: The men's basketball junior was in the opening lineup for both games last week to become just the 12th player in school history to start in 50 straight games.

The Schedule Ahead For The Vikings

Jan. 8 (Tuesday)
Wrestling at Kent State
Kent, OH, 7:05 p.m.

Jan. 10 (Thursday)
Men's Basketball at Detroit
Detroit, MI, 7:00 p.m.

Women's Basketball at Green Bay
Green Bay, WI, 8:00 p.m.

Jan. 12 (Saturday)
Women's Basketball at Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI, 1:00 p.m.

Swimming hosts Xavier, Duquesne & Canisius
Busbey Natatorium, 1:00 p.m.

Men's Basketball at Wright State
Fairborn, OH, 7:00 p.m.

Wrestling hosts Eastern Michigan
Woodling Gym, 7:00 p.m.