Women's Tennis Has Week Off; Men To Begin Conference Play

Women's Tennis Has Week Off; Men To Begin Conference Play

Sept. 27, 2004

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Contact: David Barry

SETTING THE SCENE: The Cleveland State men's tennis team will be in action this weekend when it travels to Valparaiso for a pair of matches on Saturday and Sunday October 2nd and 3rd, while the women's team is off this week in preparation for a pair of back-to-back home matches next week. The men's team will open conference play of the season on Saturday, Oct. 2nd with an 11:00 a.m. match against UW-Green Bay. The Vikings will take on host Valparaiso on Sunday, Oct. 3rd at 1:00 p.m.

GALON, MYERS COMPETE AT PENN: Sophomore Sarah Galon and freshman Jenn Myers were given the opportunity to compete last weekend the Cissie Leary Invitational, a highly competitive individual tournament put on the University of Pennsylvania. Galon won her first round match, 6-2, 6-2 over an opponent from Penn State. Galon dropped her next two matches, but the experienced gained for both goals took priority over worrying about the results. "Playing in a tournament of this magnitude helps us force our way to the next level," coach Brian Etzkin said after the tournament. "Playing better players keeps us with a good perspective, and hopefully will prepare us for our matches to come."

HE'S OUT: The men's team has played this fall season without the services of Jay Tee, who will sit out the remainder of the fall to recover from back surgery. Tee, a second- team Horizon League selection in each of the past two seasons, went 9-16 at No. 1 and No. 2 singles in 2003. He teamed with Eric Winn to post an 11-12 record as the top doubles pairing. "We're a little depleted without Jay," coach Etzkin said. "We will certainly miss him but I believe we can win this weekend with the guys that we have."

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Super sophomore Sarah Galon has already reached one of her major goals for this season - winning a match in a big tournament. Galon's 6-2, 6-2 win over Sarah Downing of Penn State over the weekend gave her a win over a Big-10 opponent. "It was awesome," Galon said after the victory. "Everyone knows that school (Penn State) and it's a great feeling to get a victory over someone from there."

HORZION ON THE HORIZON: The men's team will open up its conference season on Saturday, with an important match against UW-Green Bay at 11:00 a.m.. The team has set a goal this year to gain a top seed for the conference tournament, and doing so would mean losing no more than one conference match. "This is our biggest match of the year," coach Etzkin said. "It's time for us to take it to a different level. This is our first pressure match, and I feel good about our chances."

COACHING CONSISTENCY: Brian Etzkin returns to coach for the third consecutive season, and for the second straight year will be joined by Assistant Coach David Howell. In his third season as head coach of the Viking tennis program, Brian Etzkin has compiled a combined record of 35-70 (22-30 men, 13-40 women). Etzkin has been given the task reviving the men's tennis program, which returned in 2000 after an eight-year hiatus. Prior to his arrival at Cleveland State, Etzkin spent two years as an assistant at Western Illinois before being named an assistant coach at Michigan State. Howell, a native of Solon, joined the program after spending a season as interim head coach at Allegheny College. A standout player for Allegheny from '96-00, Howell served as assistant coach at St. Lawrence University from 2001-02.

WELCOME ABOARD: It has already been quite a ride for freshman Jenn Myers, the No. 2 singles player this season for the women. The Chillicothe native played over the weekend at the Pennsylvania Invitational, and in that tournament played competition from Pennsylvania, Columbia, and Penn State. Myers also recorded the deciding point in CSU's 4-3 win over Akron earlier this season. The win came nearly 30 minutes after all other matches had ended, and Myers came through under the pressure to give CSU the win.

RECORD BREAKERS: Both tennis teams took giant steps forward during the 2003-04 season. The men's 13-11 record marked the first winning season the program has seen since 1989, and the third-place finish at the Horizon League Championship was the best in school history. The women, meanwhile, won 10 matches, tying a school record for wins. Their first-round win over #3 UW-Green Bay marked the first time the women's team had ever won the opening round match in the Horizon League Championship.