March 24, 2012
Contact: Renee Adam
DETROIT, Mich. - Behind strong singles play the Cleveland State women's tennis team opened up Horizon League play with a 4-3 victory at Detroit Friday evening. With Friday's win the Vikings improve to 9-7 on the season and 1-0 in league play, while Detroit falls to 3-8 (0-1). The victory over Detroit also marked CSU's third straight over the Titans during the past three seasons.
"We put ourselves behind a little bit after dropping the doubles point, but I thought we fought back during the singles matches and we were able to come away with the victory tonight," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "Hopefully tonight's doubles performance was just a minor speedbump in our doubles play, because we played well in short intervals, but we need to have a better performance overall in the upcoming matches."
After dropping the doubles point against the Titans, the top of the lineup responded for Cleveland State, winning two out of the first three singles matches. Catrine Bjerrehus started things off for the Vikings with a 7-5, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles, before Maria Lazaris posted a 6-1, 6-2 win at the No. 2 spot. Lazaris' win marked the 50th of her career, as she joins Bjerrehus as the only current Vikings to reach the milestone.
The Titans were able to collect victories at the No. 3 and No. 4 singles spots then, before Alex Power and Mengdi Liu put the match away for Cleveland State. Power, who was playing at No. 5 singles, battled for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 win, improving her overall record to 18-11 this season. Liu captured her point at No. 6 singles for CSU, winning by default. Liu has now won seven straight singles matches, with two of them coming as wins by default.
"We were a little disappointed after the doubles matches today, but we persevered and played some very intense singles matches," senior Catrine Bjerrehus said. "It was a very exciting match overall and Alex Power was really strong at the end to get us the last point that we needed for the victory. It was great to be back on the court and playing a Horizon League team, and we are all looking forward to the remainder of the season."
The Vikings, who finished off a six-match road swing Friday evening, return to action next Saturday (March 31) when they host Youngstown State at 12:00 p.m. Saturday's match will mark the first home contest for Cleveland State in over a month, as the Vikings last competed at home on February 25.
Cleveland State 4, Detroit 3
1. Cornwell/Strakhova (UDM) def. Bjerrehus/Power (CSU), 8-5
2. Halabi/Karoub (UDM) def. Lazaris/Janek (CSU), 8-1
3. Liu/Sherwood (CSU) won by default
1. Bjerrehus, Catrine (CSU) def. HALABI, Raina (UDM) 7-5, 6-1
2. Lazaris, Maria (CSU) def. STRAKHOVA, Elena (UDM) 6-1, 6-2
3. KAROUB, Chloe (UDM) def. Sherwood, Kara (CSU) 6-2, 6-4
4. CORNWELL, Amanda (UDM) def. Janek, Nicole (CSU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Power, Alex (CSU) def. FERNANDES, Julia (UDM) 6-3, 3-6, 6-4
6. Liu, Mengdi (CSU) def. No player (UDM), by default