Vikings Claim 4-3 Victory At Milwaukee Behind Strong Singles Play

Alex Bush
Alex Bush

Contact: Renee Adam

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Behind a strong effort from the bottom half of the singles lineup, the Cleveland State women's tennis team got back in the win column Saturday, posting a 4-3 victory at Milwaukee. Saturday's win improved CSU's overall record to 8-9 this season, while the Vikings also improve to 2-1 in league play. Saturday's victory marked CSU's 10th straight win against the Panthers, as they now stand at 11-1 against UWM under head coach Brian Etzkin.

"Milwaukee really gave us a tough match today, but we were able to do a better job at finishing when it came down to the end of the match to get the win," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We really need to tighten up our doubles play - at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles Milwaukee was able to do all of the little things better, and definitely deserved the doubles point tonight."

During doubles play the Vikings were able to claim just one match, as Milwaukee got out to an early 1-0 lead after picking up the doubles point. The No. 3 doubles team of Nicole Janek and Mathilde Orange picked up their fourth straight win, earning a tough 9-7 victory.

The Vikings were then able to rebound with a pair of singles wins from Janek and Alex Bush, earning a 2-1 advantage. Janek's victory came at the No. 6 spot, earning a 6-1, 6-1 win, while Bush picked up a 6-2, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles. Janek's win marked her fourth straight, as she now stands at 9-3 this spring.

The Panthers answered with two straight wins at No. 1 and No. 2 singles to regain the advantage at 3-2 with two matches remaining on the courts.

"We were able to get two quick points at the beginning of singles play, but after that we played from behind the entire match. The top of the lineup came through for Milwaukee and they really put pressure on us when they got three points which forced us to focus and play solid tennis," Etzkin said.

Kara Sherwood was able to tie the match for Cleveland State (3-3) after picking up a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles - marking her third win out of her last four matches. Sherwood now has a team-high 14-11 record this year and a 9-6 mark this spring. The No. 5 singles match was the final match to finish Saturday, with Maria Lazaris pulling out a three-set victory (5-7, 6-4, 6-2) to clinch the match for the Vikings. Lazaris' win was her fourth straight and the 65th of her career.

"Kara gave us a huge momentum lift with her win at the No. 4 spot - she was able to come back and pull out a win after being down 4-1 in the second set. Maria also had a solid match for us tonight, outhustling her opponent and sticking with her match to battle back in the second and third sets to clinch the match," Etzkin said.

Lazaris and Janek's victories against Milwaukee kept them both perfect in league play this season, as both enter tomorrow's contest at Green Bay with 3-0 records.

The Vikings will continue league play tomorrow (Sunday, April 7), facing Green Bay at 3:00 p.m. EST.

Cleveland State 4, Milwaukee 3
1. SOULE, Maddy/COLAROSSI, Christina (UWM) def. BUSH, Alex/SHERWOOD, Kara (CSU) 8-3
2. SHANNON, Dana/FRITZ, Kelly (UWM) def. POWER, Alex/LAZARIS, Maria (CSU) 9-7
3. ORANGE, Mathilde/JANEK, Nicole (CSU) def. BAILEY, Chelsea/SKEMP, Brittany (UWM) 9-7

1. SOULE, Maddy (UWM) def. Orange, Mathilde (CSU) 7-5, 6-1
2. SHANNON, Dana (UWM) def. Power, Alex (CSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. BUSH, Alex (CSU) def. FRITZ, Kelly (UWM) 6-2, 6-0
4. Sherwood, Kara (CSU) def. BAILEY, Chelsea (UWM) 6-4, 6-4
5. Lazaris, Maria (CSU) def. KURER, Kristin (UWM) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
6. Janek, Nicole (CSU) def. COLAROSSI, Christina (UWM) 6-1, 6-1