ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Cleveland State men's tennis team posted a perfect 6-0 record on the first day of the ITA Midwest Regional Thursday, with Nico Mostardi, Benjamin Slade and Luke Phillips both going 2-0 in the Qualifying Singles Draw.
"We had a great first day of play, I don't think we have ever had a day where we have gone 6-0 on the first day of regional qualifying, and that is really exciting," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We are excited to continue this momentum tomorrow, and have three chances to qualify to the main draw and join Matthew."
Slade picked up Cleveland State's first win of the day, battling for a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over DePaul's Chris Casati in his first round match. He then bounced back for a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory in his second round match, taking down top-seeded Eric Olvarez of Western Michigan.
"Ben was able to win a tough three-setter in his first round match, and then bounce back to not only play, but defeat, the No. 1 seed in the qualifying draw in the second round. Ben has really been focusing on his game plan the last few weeks, and it was good to see him get the results today," Etzkin said.
Mostardi cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Wisconsin's Darius Mackenzie in his opening round match, before picking up a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Georg Lundkvist of Northern Illinois in the second round.
"Nico played one of his cleanest sets ever during his first round match, and then continued that momentum throughout the day. He did a great job of picking up points on his serve, and has been playing some great tennis over the last few weeks," Etzkin said.
Phillips picked up a pair of straight-set victories in his first two matches of the weekend, earning a 6-3, 6-4 win over Brian Pecyna of Valparaiso, before earning a 6-3, 7-6 (6) win against Marquette's Alvaro Verdu.
"Although he didn't play his best tennis today, Luke competed really well throughout both of his matches and was able to get a pair of well-earned victories. Every time he steps on the court, he continues to get better and better, which is very promising for his future, not only this coming spring, but for the rest of his collegiate career," Etzkin said.
Action at the ITA Midwest Regional will continue tomorrow with the final round of the qualifying singles draw and three rounds of the main doubles draw. Live Scoring and Live Video is available for all indoor matches, with links available on the ITA Midwest Regional Tournament Central Page.
Qualifying Singles Draw – First Round
Benjamin Slade (CSU) def. Chris Casati (DEP), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Nico Mostardi (CSU) def. Darius Mackenzie (UW), 6-0, 6-1
Luke Phillips (CSU) def. Brian Pecyna (VALPO), 6-3, 6-4
Qualifying Singles Draw – Second Round
Nico Mostardi (CSU) def. Georg Lundkvist (NIU), 6-4, 6-4
Benjamin Slade (CSU) def. Eric Olivarez (WMU), 6-3, 7-6 (5)
Luke Phillips (CSU) def. Alvaro Verdu (MARQ), 6-3, 7-6 (6)