March 24, 2011
Contact: Greg Murphy
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State women's tennis team opens Horizon League play with a pair of matches in Wisconsin this weekend. The Vikings will play at Green Bay on Saturday (March 26) at 5:00 p.m. before heading to Milwaukee for a 10:00 a.m. contest on Sunday (March 27).
The two matches are the first of eight straight league contests to close the regular season for CSU.
The Vikings are coming off a season in which they went 7-1 in league play, finishing a program best second place in the standings.
"Last year was easily the best season we have had in league play since I have been here," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "But we have to put that behind us because we know that every match is going to be a challenge whenever we take the court. We can't dwell on the success we had last season because this is a new year and we will have to bring intensity and energy to the court every day."
CSU beat both Green Bay and Milwaukee by identical 6-1 scores last season.
"We are coming in as the favorite in both of these matches, but we know that nothing is going to come easy. We will be ready to work hard to get two wins this weekend."
The Vikings enter league play with an overall record of 5-10 after winning one of three matches on its spring training trip down south. After falling at Louisiana Lafayette, 5-2, to open the trip, CSU rallied to win at Nicholls State (4-3) before dropping a 5-2 decision at Lamar to close out the trip.
"It was nice to finally be able to get outside and get some swings in," Etzkin said. "There were some good things we did as a team in those three matches and I hope we are able to carry them over to this weekend."
Freshman Alex Bush was CSU's standout on the trip, winning all three of her singles matches at the No. 3 position. In the victory over Lamar, she rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the third set to earn the win and continues to lead the team with 16 singles wins.
In addition, Bush teamed with freshman Alex Power for a win at No. 1 doubles against Louisiana-Lafayette.
"Alex is playing at a very high level right now," Etzkin said.
The Vikings continue Horizon League play with two matches at home next weekend, hosting Valparaiso at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday (April 2) and UIC on Sunday (April 3) at 11:00 a.m.