VALPARAISO, Ind. – For the second time in the last three years the Cleveland State women's tennis team has finished the regular season at the top of the league standings, as the Vikings clinched the Regular Season Horizon League crown with a 7-0 victory at Valparaiso this afternoon. The Vikings finish the regular season with an overall record of 14-8, including an 8-1 mark against league opponents.
Today's victory against the Crusaders marked a program record for league wins in a season, as the Vikings topped the previous record of seven which they have tallied four times (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 & 2013-14). Cleveland State's only blemish in league play this season came against Milwaukee earlier this month.
Along with the regular season title, the Vikings have also earned the top seed in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament (Friday, April 29 – Sunday, May 1), and will begin play in the semifinals.
"This was an exciting day for us today, we came in heavily favored on paper, but Valparaiso competed really hard and forced us to really focus on what we were trying to accomplish," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We were able to close out the close spots throughout the match and get the victory, which was a great team win. I'm so excited for the women to get their second Horizon League Regular Season title in the last three years, and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming tournament. This team has fought really hard all year long, especially during the non-league portion of our schedule when we were playing some tough competition. We are all very excited to start the league tournament and can't wait to see what will happen next weekend."
The Vikings closed the regular season with their second 7-0 sweep in league play this year, picking up all six singles points and the doubles point against the Crusaders.
In doubles, Cleveland State got wins from Mathilde Orange and Princess Gbadamosi at the No. 2 spot (6-3), and Victoria Bensimon and Morgan Nix at the No. 3 spot (6-2). The Vikings picked up the doubles point in all but one league match this year, and finished the regular season with an 18-7 doubles record against league opponents.
One of the highlights in singles play came from Gbadamosi at No. 4 singles, as she posted the 50th singles win of her career with a 7-5, 6-1 decision. Gbadamosi is the 14th Viking all-time to record 50 career wins, and joins teammates Bensimon and Orange in the elite club.
Bensimon extended her singles winstreak Sunday afternoon, picking up a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 3 singles for her 11th straight victory. Bensimon finished the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record against league opponents, becoming the first Viking since the 2012 season to achieve the feat.
Golawska was able to pick up a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 5 singles for the Vikings, marking her eighth straight league singles win and improving her to 8-1 against league opponents this season.
Playing in her first semester of collegiate tennis, Isabella Spindler was able to notch a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 1 singles in the regular season finale Sunday afternoon, finishing the league slate with a 6-3 record at the top of the singles lineup.
The Vikings also got singles victories from Orange at the No. 2 spot (6-2, 7-5) and Jana Schober at the No. 6 spot (6-1, 6-3).
Cleveland State will now prepare for the Horizon League Tournament, which will be hosted at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Vikings will begin play on Saturday, April 30 against the winner of the No. 4/No. 5 first round contest.
Cleveland State 7, Valparaiso 0
1. Spindler/Golawska (CSU) vs. Hebble/Heuer (VALPO), 4-5, unf.
2. Orange/Gbadamosi (CSU) def. Modesto/Wind (VALPO), 6-3
3. Bensimon/Nix (CSU) def. Staal/Paras (VALPO), 6-2
1. Isabella Spindler (CSU) def. Kathleen Hebble (VALPO), 6-2, 6-1
2. Mathilde Orange (CSU) def. Paige Heuer (VALPO), 6-2, 7-5
3. Victoria Bensimon (CSU) def. Meg Modesto (VALPO), 6-4, 6-3
4. Princess Gbadamosi (CSU) def. Randi Wind (VALPO), 7-5, 6-1
5. Aleksandra Golawska (CSU) def. Erin Staal (VALPO), 6-1, 6-0
6. Jana Schober (CSU) def. Morgan Paras (VALPO), 6-1, 6-3