Vikings Open Horizon League Slate By Hosting UIC & Valparaiso

Vikings Open Horizon League Slate By Hosting UIC & Valparaiso

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State women's tennis team will begin its campaign for a second straight Horizon League Regular Season title this weekend, as the Vikings are set to open league play by hosting UIC and Valparaiso in a pair of dual matches.

Saturday, March 25 | UIC | 2:00 p.m.
Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion | 2005 Chester Ave. | Cleveland, Ohio | 44114

Sunday, March 26 | Valparaiso | 2:00 p.m.
Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion | 2005 Chester Ave. | Cleveland, Ohio | 44114

Follow Along Live!
Fans that are unable to attend this weekend's matches against UIC and Valparaiso will still be able to follow along live, with Live Results available via the women's tennis schedule page on

Vikings Selected Third In Horizon League Preseason Poll
Earlier this season Cleveland State was selected to finish third in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, picking up 68 points and one first-place vote. The Vikings were picked to finish behind preseason favorite Youngstown State and UIC in the 10-team field. This is the fifth year that the Horizon League has released a preseason poll, with the Vikings earning a top-three selection in four of the five polls.

Cleveland State's Continued Success
Over the last three seasons, Cleveland State has posted a 20-5 record against Horizon League opponents, including a program-best 8-1 league record last year. The Vikings are one of two teams to record at least 20 wins over the last three years (Youngstown State), while they also join the Penguins as the only teams to reach eight league victories in a single season during this span.

…Reigning Horizon League Regular Season Champion
Cleveland State enters the 2017 Spring Season as the reigning Horizon League Regular Season Champion and will be trying for the program's third regular season title over the last four years. The Vikings' first-ever regular season crown came during the 2014 season and they quickly followed that up with the program's second title two years later during the 2016 campaign.

Bensimon In HL Singles Play
Entering the 2017 Horizon League slate, senior Victoria Bensimon owns a 21-2 singles record against Horizon League opponents (regular season matches only), including perfect records as a junior (9-0) and freshman (6-0). Bensimon is currently on a 13-match singles winstreak against league foes in regular season play, last dropping a match on April 3, 2015. Junior Aleksandra Golawska has also fared well against league opponents, owning a 15-2 record in regular season league matches.

Vikings On The Top-10 Singles Wins List
Entering Horizon League play, the senior duo of Victoria Bensimon and Princess Gbadamosi rank seventh and eighth, respectively, on the CSU Singles Wins list. Bensimon, who has a team-best 8-6 record this spring, has 67 career wins, while Gbadamosi stands at 62 career singles wins. Bensimon and Gbadamosi mark the eighth and ninth Vikings all-time to eclipse the 60-win mark.

Closing In On Win #50
After splitting her matches on the annual Spring Break Trip last week, junior Aleksandra Golawska enters Horizon League play just five wins shy of marking the 50th singles victory of her career. Golawska, who owns an 11-10 singles record this season, would become the 14th Viking all-time to reach the 50-win milestone. Golawska would also join teammates Victoria Bensimon and Princess Gbadamosi in the exclusive 50-win club.

Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion
For the second straight year – and first complete year – the Vikings are calling the Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion home. The MMTP, which opened March 9, 2016, features six temperature-controlled indoor courts. With the opening of the MMTP, Cleveland State became the first Horizon League team to have an on-campus indoor facility.

…Vikings In The MMTP
So far this season the Vikings own a 5-1 record when playing in the Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion, picking up a pair of victories over Butler and St. Bonaventure in their last homestand. Overall, Cleveland State owns a 12-2 record in the MMTP, including a 4-1 record against Horizon League opponents.

Head Coach Brian Etzkin
Brian Etzkin is in his 15th year with the Vikings, owning a 191-183 dual match record. During his tenure, Etzkin has guided Cleveland State to a pair of Horizon League Regular Season titles (2014 & 2016), and three Horizon League Championship Match appearances. With just nine more dual match victories, Etzkin will become the second active Horizon League women's coach with 200 wins on their career.

Scouting The Flames
UIC enters the weekend with a 9-4 overall record this spring, and is currently on a mini three-match winstreak. The Flames, who were picked to finish second in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, will take on Youngstown State prior to Saturday's match against the Vikings.

This will be the 19th meeting between the two teams over the last 15 seasons, with UIC owning a 16-3 advantage in the overall series. Cleveland State has been the dominant team over the last few years though, with the Vikings picking up three straight wins over the Flames since the 2013-14 season.

Scouting The Crusaders
Valparaiso currently stands at 1-9 this season, with their lone win coming as a 5-4 decision against Division III California Lutheran earlier this month. The Crusaders were selected to finish ninth in the Horizon League Preseason Poll, picking up 17 points.

Under head coach Brian Etzkin, the Vikings own a perfect 11-0 record against the Crusaders.