WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the first time in five years the Cleveland State women's tennis team will be playing in the Horizon League Championship, after battling for a 4-2 victory over No. 3 Oakland in Saturday's semifinal contest.
· With Saturday's 4-2 victory over Oakland in the #HLWTEN semifinals, the Vikings will be making their fourth championship match appearance in program history.
· With her 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 6 singles, Kateryna Avram picked up her team-leading 27th singles win of the year, marking a program record for wins in a single-season.
· Entering Sunday's championship match, the Vikings have now won 11 of their last 12 matches.
· Cleveland State now stands at 16-8 overall this year.
For the first time in over a month, the Vikings had to play from behind after doubles action, as Oakland was able to get out to the early 1-0 lead after picking up wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.
The Vikings were able to quickly even the match at the start of singles play though, as Kateryna Avram earned a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 6 singles to put the score at 1-1. Avram notched her 13th straight singles win, and recorded her 20th singles win of the spring season.
Gaby Schoenberg then put the Vikings up 2-1 with a win at the No. 5 spot, as she picked up a 7-6(6), 6-4 victory, improving to 19-14 this season.
Cleveland State extended its lead to 3-1 with a win at No. 3 singles then, as Lara Prosenjak notched a 7-6(3), 6-4 win, improving to 13-9 this spring.
Although Oakland was able to close the gap to 3-2 with a win at the top of the lineup, Siân Payne clinched the match for the Vikings at No. 4 singles, picking up a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory. Payne's win marked her 19th of the season, including her 16th during dual match play.
From The Sidelines
"What a match! We have shown a lot of fight all year, and we put it all out on the courts again today. Although we had to play from behind after doubles, we fought hard and put ourselves in a position to flip the match around through the start of singles play."
"Kate got us on the board quickly to tie it up, and then Gaby and Lara did a nice job of closing out their matches in straight sets to extend our lead. Our clinching point came from Siân, who was a classic case of never giving up. She lost the first set and bounced back in the second, and then was down 0-3 in the third before storming back to win the third set. Now we need to get focused and prepared for tomorrow's championship match with a quick turnaround, and continue to go out there and play Cleveland State tennis." – head coach Frank Polito
Cleveland State will now play for its first-ever Horizon League Tournament Championship tomorrow, facing top-seeded UIC at 3:00 p.m.
Doubles (3, 2)
1. Spindler/Mrcela (CSU) vs. Thielman/Maltseva (OAK), 6-5, unf.
2. Whall/Nilsson (OAK) def. Prosenjak/Avram (CSU), 7-6(4)
3. Artamonova/Borcuti (OAK) def. Schoenberg/Payne (CSU), 7-5
Singles (6, 5, 3, 1, 4)
1. Ava Thielman (OAK) def. Isabella Spindler (CSU), 6-2, 7-6(3)
2. Klara Mrcela (CSU) vs. Darya Maltseva (OAK), 6-3, 5-7, 1-2, unf.
3. Lara Prosenjak (CSU) def. Dasha Artamonova (OAK), 7-6(3), 6-4
4. Siân Payne (CSU) def. Alexandra Whall (OAK), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
5. Gaby Schoenberg (CSU) def. Sofia Borcuti (OAK), 7-6(6), 6-4
6. Kateryna Avram (CSU) def. Amanda Nilsson (OAK), 6-2, 6-1