April 7, 2011
Contact: Greg Murphy
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Cleveland State women's tennis team begins a three-match roadtrip with two matches this weekend. The Vikings begin the trip with a contest at Wright State on Saturday (April 9) before playing at Butler on Sunday (April 10). Both matches will begin at 2:00 p.m.
"With the regular season winding down, we have to continue to play at a high level if we want to achieve our goal of finishing near the top of the league standings," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We are in fourth place right now, but a pair of wins could move us all the way up to second place so these are no doubt huge matches for us this weekend."
CSU enters the weekend with an 8-11 overall mark and 3-1 in the Horizon League, trailing UIC (5-0) and Wright State and Butler who are both 3-0.
The Vikings split a pair of matches at home last weekend, earning a 7-0 sweep of Valparaiso on Saturday (April 2) before falling to UIC, 6-1, on Sunday (April 3).
CSU lost just two games in the three doubles matches and only eight games in the six singles matches against Valpo.
"We really came out really focused against Valparaiso and hit a lot of winners," Etzkin said. "Our doubles was really good and we carried that momentum with us to the singles matches. I thought we were also in the match against UIC, a team that has won 129 straight against league opponents. We were hoping to be the team to stop the streak, but couldn't pull it off. We had close matches on a lot of the courts and lost three three set matches. And those are the ones that championship teams win, but I feel we are closing the gap there."
Sophomore Maria Lazaris gave the Vikings their lone point against the Flames, earning a 6-3, 6-1 win at No. 5 singles for her 11th win of the season. She gave up a total of just seven games combined in her two singles wins.
"Maria has been the winningest player on the team since January," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "She missed most of the fall season, but has come back really strong and is playing some of the best tennis of her career."
Freshman Alex Bush continues to lead the team with 19 wins, needing one more victory to become the 11th player in program history to reach 20 wins for a season. Bush played No. 1 singles for the first time in her career against Valpo, picking up a 6-0, 6-0 win before dropping a tough three set match against UIC which went to a tiebreaker in the third set.
Following this weekend's matches, the Vikings will stay on the road and play at Youngstown State on Friday (April 15) at 7:00 p.m.