CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland State women's tennis team will close out the regular season this weekend, traveling to UIC (Saturday, April 23) and Valparaiso (Sunday, April 24) for a crucial pair of Horizon League contests. The Vikings will be fighting for the top spot in the Horizon League standings this weekend, as they control their own destiny in regards to capturing the Regular Season title and top seed in the upcoming league tournament.
Saturday, April 23 | @ UIC | 11:00 a.m. EST
Flames Outdoor Tennis Courts | 839 Roosevelt Road | Chicago, Ill. | 60608
Sunday, April 24 | @ Valparaiso | 4:00 p.m. EST
Valpo Tennis Complex | Valparaiso University | Valparaiso, Ind. | 46383
Vikings Drop First League Match Of The Year
Last time out the Vikings split their matches against Milwaukee and Green Bay, posting their first 7-0 sweep of the season against the Phoenix and dropping their first league contest against the Panthers (4-3). Entering the final weekend of regular season play the Vikings stand at 6-1 – which is tied for the best league record through seven matches in program history. With two matches this weekend, the Vikings have a chance to tie the record for most league wins (7) or even set a new record (8).
Bensimon Notches 50th Career Singles Win
With a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 5 singles against Milwaukee last Saturday, Victoria Bensimon became the 13th Viking all-time to record 50 career singles wins. Bensimon, who has won nine straight singles matches, joins Mathilde Orange in the 50-win club as she reached the milestone earlier this year. Bensimon is one of three league players to have a perfect record in league singles play so far this season, and has the possibility of becoming the first Viking since 2012 to pick up a singles win against every league opponent with a pair of wins this weekend.
…Gbadamosi Not Far Behind
Princess Gbadamosi is also closing in on the 50-win mark, entering the weekend with 48 career singles victories. After getting off to a slow start this spring, Gbadamosi has picked up her play as of late, winning six of her last nine singles matches. Gbadamosi, who has been playing in the top half of the singles lineup this spring, would become the 14th Viking all-time to join the 50-win club.
Orange Closing In On CSU Singles Wins List
After picking up a win at No. 2 singles against Green Bay on Senior Day, Mathilde Orange inched closer to cracking the top-10 CSU Singles Wins list, as she enters the final weekend of regular season play with 53 career victories. Orange, who ranks second on the team with 14 singles wins this season, needs just two more victories to move into 10th place on the list which is currently held by Alex Power (2010-14).
Vikings Finish Home Schedule With 8-3 Record
Last weekend marked the final homestand for the Vikings this season, with Cleveland State finishing the year with an 8-3 record at home. The eight wins marks one of the best performances at home under head coach Brian Etzkin, while it is also tied for the highest home win total among league teams this year (Wright State). The last part of Cleveland State's 2016 home schedule was played in the brand new Medical Mutual Tennis Pavilion, where the Vikings posted a 7-1 record.
Upcoming Horizon League Tournament
This weekend's matches will have a large impact on the upcoming Horizon League Tournament, as all six seeds are still up for grabs. The 2016 Horizon League Tournament will take place at the Varsity Tennis Center on the University of Michigan campus, with first round action taking place on Friday, April 29, semifinal action taking place on Saturday, April 30 and the championship match taking place on Sunday, May 1.
Scouting The Flames
UIC enters the weekend with a 12-6 overall record and a 6-1 mark against Horizon League opponents. Last time out, the Flames defeated Detroit (5-2) before falling to Oakland (4-3) in their first league loss of the year. UIC has used a similar lineup throughout the spring season, with Oana Manole and Bianca Zuzu owning a team-best 6-1 singles mark against league opponents.
This will be the 19th meeting between the two teams over the past 13 seasons, with UIC owning a 16-2 record in the series. Cleveland State enters Saturday's contest on a two-match winstreak against the Flames though, as CSU's two wins have come during the last two meetings.
Scouting The Crusaders
Valparaiso enters the weekend with a 2-16 overall record and a 1-6 record in Horizon League action. Valparaiso's lone league win came at Green Bay earlier this season in a 5-2 decision.
Under head coach Brian Etzkin the Vikings own a perfect 10-0 record against the Crusaders.