Sept. 5, 2006
Contact: Josh Rattray
Date: Sept. 9-10
St. Bonaventure Fall Classic
Date: Sept. 8-10
FIRST SERVE: Both of Cleveland State's tennis teams open the fall portion of their schedules this weekend. The men open at the St. Bonaventure Fall Classic in St. Bonaventure, N.Y. on Friday (Sept. 8) and the women begin the season on Saturday (Sept. 9) at the Bradley Invitational in Peoria, Ill. Both tournaments are scheduled to go through Sunday (Sept. 10).
PREVIEWING THE MEN: Four players return on the men's squad and two newcomers provide additional depth. Senior Dan Singer (17-11 in singles) and junior Brad Groleski (10-10) will be counted on for leadership, while sophomores Rob West (14-20) and Steven Wipprecht (19-12) are each coming off strong freshman campaigns. The combination of West and Singer may be the Vikings' top doubles team, coming off a 12-6 season playing together last year. Freshmen Ryan Hamning and Phil Orno will be making their Vikings debuts this weekend. Hamning is one of the team's most powerful players and Orno, who is from Denmark, is a strong finesse player. The entire team has been extremely competitive in its challenge matches, and the lineup should change almost from match to match.
ETZKIN ON THE MEN: "This is the first competition for our men against someone other than ourselves. We have been working hard to establish our lineup. We have very good depth and anyone on our team can beat anyone else, and that's a good thing."
PREVIEWING THE WOMEN: A wealth of experience returns for the women's squad, as six players return from last year's team that won a school-record 18 matches. Three-time first team All-Horizon League honoree Sarah Galon (19-15 in singles) has been among the Horizon League's best players since coming to Cleveland State. Galon was the 2005 Horizon League Player of the Year as a sophomore. Senior Morgan Ungerott (18-15) garnered second team All-League honors as well, and the duo combined for a dominant 19-7 record at No. 1 doubles. Junior Jenn Myers won a team-high 23 singles matches last season, including a 15-6 ledger at No. 2 and will likely play high in the lineup again this season. Juniors Lindsay Sellers (12-19) and Christine Volgelgesang (19-9) also return after strong seasons last year. Kristin Chamberlain (17-12), the team's only returning sophomore, capped a strong freshman campaign last year by winning seven of her last 10 matches. Newcomers Charlotte Gibbons and Denisa Muntean are both athletic and should compete for playing time high in the lineup.
ETZKIN ON THE WOMEN: "This is the deepest women's team we've had since I've been here. Our women will be facing some great competition this weekend. Every team they will face this weekend will come up on the regular season schedule, so we think this is a great way season preview."
WEST LIKES IT OUT EAST: Rob West has had past success at the St. Bonaventure Fall Classic, winning the No. 2 flight at last year's tournament. West posted three wins at the tournament last fall, each coming in three-set comeback victories. West dropped the first set in each match before battling back to win.
WIPPRECHT ALSO LIKES THE FALL CLASSIC: Sophomore Steven Wipprecht won two of three matches to open the fall season at the St. Bonaventure Fall Classic last year. After dropping the first set, 6-0, in his first match, Wipprecht rebounded to take the next two stanzas by identical scores of 6-2. After losing his second match, Wipprecht claimed a three-set victory (6-3, 4-6, 6-4).
NOT AT ALL `BRAD' TO BE HEALTHY: If all goes according to plan this season, Brad Groleski will be playing his first full-season of collegiate tennis. The junior out of Springboro, Ohio, has missed parts of his first two years at CSU recovering from two different wrist surgeries. Groleski missed the entire fall slate last year and his freshman season two years ago ended prematurely on Februrary 8.
FIRST TIME TO PEORIA: This weekend marks the first time ever the women's team will be competing in the Bradley Inviational. Last season, the Vikings played in the Akron Invitational to open the fall season.
MOST WINS...EVER: The 2005-06 CSU women's team won more matches than any team in school history (18). The previous year's squad had won a then-record 14. The best winning percentage in Viking women's tennis history came in 1983-84, when Sheryl Smith coached CSU to a 10-2 (.833) ledger. The Vikings have won at least 10 matches in each of the last four seasons.
WHAT GREAT SPORTS: Cleveland State swept the Horizon League's inaugural Herb Foster Sportsmanship Awards last season. Brad Groleski won the men's award while Sarah Galon took home the women's trophy, awarded for conduct on and off the court. The award is named in honor of the late Wright State coach who had been at the helm of the Raiders from 1996-2004.
UP NEXT: The men host crosstown Case Western on Wednsday, Sept. 20. First serve is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. The women remain on the road, competing at the Bowling Green Inviational on Sept. 16-17.