Contact: Renee Adam
WESTLAKE, Ohio - Behind a balanced lineup the Cleveland State women's tennis team picked up a victory in its Horizon League opener, defeating Detroit, 5-2 Sunday afternoon. The Vikings are now 7-8 on the season and 1-0 in league play.
"This was a well-rounded contest for us today, we had a lot of close matches and we were able to keep our cool and keep our focus when things started to go Detroit's way. We stayed mentally tough during the entire match, especially when things weren't going our way," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "Being able to pick up the doubles point during league matches is always crucial and we played very well today at all three doubles positions - No. 2 doubles playing a solid attacking game and No. 3 doubles being on a roll with a win at Akron yesterday and today's victory over Detroit."
The Vikings were able to get on the board early, picking up two of the three doubles matches. CSU's Maria Lazaris and Alex Power posted an 8-2 victory at No. 2 doubles, while Mathilde Orange and Nicole Janek earned an 8-4 win at the No. 3 spot.
Cleveland State was then able to quickly add to its lead, earning victories at No. 4 and No. 5 singles. Kara Sherwood improved to 13-10 overall this year and 8-5 this spring with a 6-0, 6-3 victory at the No. 4 spot, while Maria Lazaris posted her seventh win this spring with a 6-2, 6-4 decision at No. 5 singles. The Titans posted their first point of the day with a victory at No. 2 singles, before Alex Power clinched the match for Cleveland State with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles.
Detroit was then able to claim its second point of the day with a win at No. 1 singles, before Nicole Janek closed out the match with a 6-4, 7-6 (5) win at the No. 6 spot - her seventh win of the spring.
"During singles play it's always important to get the first victory, and Kara was able to do that for us today with a quick win at No. 4 singles. Once again our depth really showed - the second time in a row that we have been able to win matches deep in our lineup. Alex Power was able to come back strong in her match after struggling during the second set and Maria had another solid match for us, withstanding the pressure of her opponent really battling against her. We were able to stay in control of the match for the majority of the day, and it is always nice to play that way then have to battle back from being down," Etzkin said.
The Vikings will continue league play next weekend, traveling to Youngstown State on Saturday, March 30.
Cleveland State 5, Detroit 2
1. FERNANDES, Julia/SUJASHVILI, Nino (UDM) def. BUSH, Alex/SHERWOOD, Kara (CSU) 8-7 (4)
2. LAZARIS, Maria/POWER, Alex (CSU) def. KAROUB, Chloe/KULIKOUSKAYA, Val (UDM) 8-2
3. ORANGE, Mathilde/JANEK, Nicole (CSU) def. HALABI, Raina/SLIZOVSKAYA, Irina (UDM) 8-4
1. SUJASHVILI, Nino (UDM) def. Orange, Mathilde (CSU) 7-5, 1-6, 6-2
2. SLIZOVSKAYA, Irina (UDM) def. BUSH, Alex (CSU) 6-4, 6-0
3. Power, Alex (CSU) def. FERNANDES, Julia (UDM) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1
4. Sherwood, Kara (CSU) def. KULIKOUSKAYA, Val (UDM) 6-0, 6-3
5. Lazaris, Maria (CSU) def. HALABI, Raina (UDM) 6-2, 6-4
6. Janek, Nicole (CSU) def. STRAKHOVA, Elena (UDM) 6-4, 7-6 (5)