The Viking Report. . . (March 19)

March 19, 2007

Contact: Brian McCann

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Vikings Return North To Continue Spring Slates. . .
Men's Tennis Hosts St. Bonaventure, Baseball Begins League Schedule

With spring break over, the Viking spring athletic programs have each returned to Ohio to tackle the final six weeks of classes and their respective conference schedules.

Men's tennis is the only team that will play at home this week, playing a Friday (March 23) match at Youngstown State before returning home to host St. Bonaventure at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday (March 25) at River Oaks Racquet Club in Rocky River, OH. The women's team, which went 1-3 on a trip to Hawaii last week, is off until April 6.

The baseball team plays four games on the road this week, starting with a Tuesday (March 20) contest at Notre Dame. The Vikings will then open the 2007 Horizon League schedule with a three-game series at Wright State over the weekend, playing a single game at 6:00 p.m. on Friday (March 23) and a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday (March 24).

Fresh off an 8-2 showing at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. last week, the softball team will be on the east coast, playing at least five games in Baltimore, Md. as part of the UMBC Classic. CSU will face Sacred Heart and Niagara on Friday (March 23) and UM-Baltimore County and Holy Cross on Saturday (March 24) to set up championship bracket play on Sunday (March 25).

Both golf teams will continue their respective spring schedules by competing in the Butler Spring Invitational. The 36-hole tournaments will be played Monday-Tuesday, March 19-20 in Avon, Ind.

The winter sports season officially came to and end last week when representatives of both the wrestling and men's swimming teams competed at the NCAA Championships. Diver Chris Dalman had the best showing, posting a pair of top 20 finishes while sprinter Jakub Dobies was 28th in the 100 breast. Junior Ryan Hurley and sophomore Rashard Goff each won matches on the opening day of the NCAA Wrestling Championships but were eliminated on the second day.

Softball Travels To Baltimore For Final Non-Conference Tourney...
At 11-2, Vikings Are Off To Best Start In School History

Off to the best start in school history at 11-2, the softball team travels to Baltimore, Md. this weekend for the UMBC Spring Classic (March 23-25). The Vikings will square off with Sacred Heart and Niagara on Friday and Holy Cross and the host Retrievers on Saturday, followed by the championship round on Sunday. CSU enters the week hitting .354 as a team, while posting an equally impressive 0.89 ERA. Junior Whitney Willard leads the team with a .487 average, 13 runs scored and 15 stolen bases. In the circle, freshman Amanda Macenko is 8-1 with a 0.46 ERA, a save and 52 strikeouts.

"If we continue hitting this weekend we're going to be hard to stop," head coach Angie Nicholson said. "We were off a little bit defensively last week, but we're going to work to clean things up. It's not something I'm too worried about."

Cleveland State concluded a strong showing at the Rebel Spring Games by winning six of its eight contests last week. The Vikings hit .335 and allowed more than one earned run just once, with both of their losses coming by 1-0 margins. Junior Whitney Willard hit .524 (11-21) while scoring five times and stealing seven bases, while sophomores Amanda Houchin (.391, 6 RBI) and Christa Coppus (.385, 5 R, 8 RBI) anchored the middle of the line-up. Meanwhile, freshman Amanda Macenko dominated in the circle, posting a 5-1 record with a 0.67 ERA, a save and 37 strikeouts.

Baseball Opens Horizon League Play At Wright State...
Plays Mid-Week Contest At Notre Dame

The Cleveland State baseball team (2-14) will take on another nationally prominent team when it heads to Notre Dame on Tuesday (March 20) for a 6:05 p.m. contest against the Fighting Irish. CSU will then open Horizon League play this weekend with a three-game series at defending league champion Wright State beginning on Friday (March 23) at 6:00 p.m., with a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader to follow the next day.

"We have played some great teams on our schedule early in the season to prepare us for the league schedule," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "We fully expect to win and compete to put ourselves in a position to win the league championship."

The Vikings have hit a streak of hard luck, dropping 12 straight games after a 2-2 start. Led by sophomore Josh Hungerman (1-3, 1.26 ERA) and senior Stephen Procner (0-4, 4.55), CSU's pitching has kept it in games. Rather, the CSU offense has been the main reason for the long skid. Cleveland State is hitting just .210 as a team and has yet to score more than five runs in a game. The Vikings lost at Kentucky on March 12 before being swept in a three-game series at Missouri last weekend. Both Kentucky and Missouri advanced to the NCAA Super Regional last year.

Men's Swimming Ends Record-Setting Year At NCAA Championships. . .

A year of record-setting performances for the Cleveland State men's swimming team came to an end at the NCAA Championships as freshman Jakub Dobies and senior Chris Dalman finished the championship run on Friday (March 16) at the University of Minnesota. Dobies placed 28th in the 100 breast and Dalman placed 18th and 20th in one- and three-meter diving, respectively.

"Sending Jakub and Chris to the NCAA Championships capped a great year for us," head coach Wally Morton said. "The NCAAs is the deepest and most talent-filled meet in the world, and for them to compete so well is quite an accomplishment."

Dobies, the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, clocked a 54.39 in the 100 breast on Friday to place 28th among the top 41 breaststroke swimmers in the country. Dalman registered a one-meter score of 303.15 on Thursday (March 15) and totaled 330.80 off the three-meter board the next day.

The Vikings, who went 11-3 in dual meets and placed second at the Horizon League Championships this year, return 16 swimmers next year.

Wrestling Bows Out At NCAA Championships...

The Cleveland State wrestling season came to an end on Friday (March 16) after junior Ryan Hurley (149) and sophomore Rashard Goff (285) were eliminated from the NCAA Championships at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit. Sophomore Victer Crenshaw (157) also competed at the national meet, marking the eighth straight year CSU has sent more than one wrestler to the NCAAs. At least one Viking has wrestled at the NCAA Championships every year since 1965.

"After competing against the best wrestlers in the nation, we know we need to get tougher for next year," head coach Jack Effner said. "Advancing to nationals will make us hungrier for next year and more eager to get better."

Hurley (28-13) and Goff (26-17) each went 1-2 at the NCAA Championships, winning their first bouts before dropping the next two. Hurley opened with a 9-4 victory over Millersville's Cody Becker before losing decisions to Michigan's Josh Churella and Purdue's Jake Patacsil. Goff won a 4-1 decision over Cornell's Zach Hammond before losing to eventual national champion Cole Konrad of Minnesota and to Iowa State's David Zabriskle.

CSU, which went 10-5 in dual meets this season, placed sixth at the EWL Championships and tied for 49th at the NCAA Championships. The Vikings' future is bright, as CSU returns nine of their 10 starters, including all three NCAA qualifiers next year.

Men's & Women's Golf Compete At Butler Spring Invitational. . .

For the second straight week, the men's and women's golf teams are traveling to the same tournament with Monday and Tuesday's (March 19-20) Butler Spring Invitational being held at Prestwick Country Club in Avon, Ind. The course plays to a par 72 with the men's yardage at 6,885 yards and the women's at 5,445. In addition to the host Bulldogs, fellow Horizon League schools UW-Green Bay (men) and Loyola (women) are also in the field.

"With a tournament under our belts, we're looking for some strong showings this week," head coach Brian Varsey said. "This is a good course that should allow for some scoring if the weather is nice. It will be interesting to see how we stack up against some of our league competition."

For the men, senior Ben Grandy led the Vikings to a fourth-place finish at the Butler North/South Invitational last week (March 12-13) in Jacksonville, Fla. Flagler took home the team title at 577, while CSU turned in a 603 as Grandy tied for 11th at 148. In women's action at the same event, the Vikings were 15th as Jacksonville claimed the team title. Sophomore Mallory Wyderka led the way with a 162 to finish tied for 32nd.

Men's Tennis Takes On Youngstown State & St. Bonaventure. . .

Following a four-match trip to Hawaii over spring break, the Cleveland State men's tennis team (11-5, 1-0 HL) will resume Horizon League play this weekend with a dual match on Friday (March 23) at Youngstown State at 7:00 p.m. The Vikings then return home to face St. Bonaventure at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday (March 25).

"We were happy to pick up a win in Hawaii, and I felt that we got better over the course of the week," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "The tough competition we faced out there will undoubtedly help us prepare for our conference tournament."

CSU went 1-3 during its stay in the Aloha State, picking up its lone victory in a 4-3 win against Hawaii Hilo on March 12. The Vikings dropped 6-1 decisions to Hawai'i Pacific and Hawaii' and concluded the trip with a 7-0 loss to BYU-Hawaii. Sophomore Rob West led the Vikings during the week as the only player to win two singles matches. West also owns the team's best singles record this season at 17-6, including a 9-2 mark at No. 6 singles. Freshmen Ryan Hamning (21-9) and Phil Orno (15-13) have the second and third best records on the team. Hamning and Orno are also 20-5 playing together at No. 1 doubles.

Women's Tennis Off After Playing Four Matches In Hawaii...

The Cleveland State women's tennis team (10-8, 1-0 HL) has completed its March schedule and will return to action at home against UIC on April 6. Just six matches remain for the Vikings, with all of them coming against Horizon League opponents.

"The week in Hawaii will definitely help us prepare for the league schedule the rest of the season," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We faced competition from all over the world and it made us work harder and improve our game."

CSU went 1-3 during its spring break trip to Hawaii, highlighted by a 4-3 win over Hawai'i Hilo on March 12. The Vikings opened the trip with losses to Hawai'i (5-2 on March 10) and Hawaii Pacific (6-1 on March 11) before the win over Hilo and then closed the trip with a 7-0 loss to NAIA's top-ranked team, BYU-Hawaii. Four different Vikings captured one singles win during the week, but the doubles tandem of sophomore Kristin Chamberlain and junior Jenn Myers saw the most success, going 3-1 for the week at No. 3 doubles. Senior Sarah Galon leads the team with a 21-9 record at No. 1 singles, followed by freshman Charlotte Gibbons (16-10) and Myers (10-7).

Viking High Fives

Ryan Hurley & Rashard Goff -- Hurley and Goff each won their first round bout at the NCAA Championships this past weekend. Together, they combined to win 54 matches this year.

Jakub Dobies & Chris Dalman -- The duo each performed well at the NCAA Swimming Championships, as Dobies placed 28th in the 100 breast and Dalman finished in the top 20 in both diving events.

Whitney Willard -- The junior lead-off hitter has jumpstarted the Viking offense this season, to the tune of a .487 batting average, 13 runs scored, 15 stolen bases and an 11-game hitting streak.

Amanda Macenko -- You'd never know she's a freshman the way the Brunswick native has been pitching. Just 13 games into the season and she's already 8-1 with a 0.46 ERA and a save.

The Schedule Ahead For The Vikings

March 19-20 (Mon.-Tues)
Men's & Women's Golf at Butler Spring Invite
Avon, IN

March 20 (Tuesday)
Baseball at Notre Dame
South Bend, IN, 6:05 p.m.

March 23 (Friday)
Softball vs. Sacred Heart (UMBC Classic)
Baltimore, MD, 9:30 a.m.

Baseball at Wright State
Dayton, OH, 6:00 p.m.

Men's Tennis at Youngstown State
Youngstown, OH, 7:00 p.m.

Softball vs. Niagara (UMBC Classic)
Baltimore, MD, 11:30 a.m.

March 24 (Saturday)
Softball vs. Holy Cross (UMBC Classic)
Baltimore, MD, 8:35 a.m.

Softball at UMBC (UMBC Classic)
Baltimore, MD, 12:35 p.m.

Baseball at Wright State (2)
Dayton, OH, 1:00 p.m.

March 25 (Sunday)
Men's Tennis hosts St. Bonaventure
River Oaks Racquet Club, 2:00 p.m.

Softball vs. Bracket Play (UMBC Classic)
Baltimore, MD