Viking Tennis Prepares For Horizon League Championships

Viking Tennis Prepares For Horizon League Championships

April 25, 2007

Contact: Josh Rattray

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FIRST SERVE: Both Cleveland State tennis teams are set for the Horizon League Championships, which will be held April 28-29 at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Ind. The men's team, which is seeded second, has a first-round bye. The women's squad will take on UW-Milwaukee at 9:00 a.m. Saturday (April 28).


PREVIEWING THE VIKING MEN: The Vikings have enjoyed on of the finest campaigns in school history, posting a 17-7 record, just one win shy of the single-season school record for wins. The Vikings, who won four of five Horizon League contests, are led by freshman Ryan Hamning and sophomore Rob West. Hamning is 27-11 at No. 3 singles while West is 22-9 playing mostly in the fifth spot. Freshman Phil Orno (20-16) has moved to the top of the lineup, followed by junior Brad Groleski (17-19), Hamning and senior Dan Singer (16-14) at No. 4. Sophomore Steven Wipprecht (13-18) rounds out the lineup at No. 6 singles. The Vikings have made their mark in doubles play all season, having won the doubles point in all 17 of their victories. Hamning and Orno lead the team with a 26-6 doubles record at No. 1 doubles.


PREVIEWING THE VIKING WOMEN: The CSU women (13-11, 4-3 HL) have battled through various injuries and lineup changes to post one of the best seasons in school history. One constant has been three-time first team all-league performer Sarah Galon, who is 25-11 at No. 1 singles. Last year's Nos. 2 & 3 players, juniors Jenn Myers and Lindsay Sellers, have missed a lot of time due to injury, but Muntean (13-17) and freshman Charlotte Gibbons (20-12) have stepped up to fill the middle of the lineup. Myers (16-7) starts at No. 4 singles followed by Sellers (8-13) at No. 5 singles with sophomore Kristin Chamberlain (15-13) at No. 6 singles. The Vikings suffered a big blow this spring when senior Morgan Ungerott went out with an injury. Ungerott teamed with Galon to post an 8-3 No. 1 doubles record in the fall and likely would have helped CSU win a couple of 4-3 matches that it lost this season.



Brian Etzkin (Southern Illinois, `98)

Men's Record: 62-62

Women's Record: 57-65

CSU's all-time coaching wins leader, Etzkin has led both the men's and women's team to four straight seasons with 10 wins or more. Six Vikings have garnered All-Horizon League recognition under Etzkin's tutelage and two players have earned Horizon League Newcomer of the Year honors. Etzkin has guided both the men's and women's teams to new heights this season, with the men finishing second in the league for the first time in school history and the women winning 13 matches, the third-highest total in CSU annals.


AMONG THE BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY: The men's team's .708 winning percentage is the top mark in school history among teams that played more than 11 matches. CSU went 8-2 in 1974 under Klaas de Boer and went 10-1 in both 1952 and 1954. If the Vikings win just one match this weekend, the Cleveland State men will finish the year with 18 wins and tie the school record for wins in a season. The 1989 Vikings went 18-10 under coach Robert Malaga.


LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SCENARIOS (MEN): The Vikings captured a first round bye at the bottom of the six-team and will face the UIC-Wright State winner in the semifinals on Saturday night. CSU defeated both of those teams, 5-2, in the regular season.


LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SCENARIOS (WOMEN): Cleveland State faces UW-Milwaukee in the first round of the tournament. It is the second time the two teams have met in the last two weeks, as the Vikings blanked the Panthers, 7-0, on April 14. With a win, the Vikings would play top-seeded UIC on Saturday night.


FRESHMEN IMPACT: Newcomers Ryan Hamning (27-11) and Phil Orno (20-16) are a combined 47-27 in singles play with Orno playing in the top two singles spots and Hamning playing at No. 3. Hamning, who has been named Horizon League Athlete of the Week twice this season (Jan. 22 and Feb. 13), finished the regular season with an 18-6 mark in dual matches.


...FRESHMEN DOUBLE PLAY: Hamning and Orno are 26-6 as a team at No. 1 doubles, with a 17-5 duals mark. The duo went 11-1 in the fall and at one point won 10 straight before losing to a team from Marquette on Oct. 21 at the ITA Regional Tournament.


GOING, GOING, GALON: Sarah Galon, a three-time first team All-Horizon League selection, is leading CSU for the fourth straight year. Galon is 25-11 at the top of the lineup, improving her career mark to 79-48, the highest win total in school history. Additionally, the Waianae, Hawaii native is 18-14 in doubles play, teaming with three different partners.


...LEAGUE HONORS FOR GALON: Sarah Galon has been named Horizon League Athlete of the Week twice this season. Her first league accolade came on Jan. 31 after winning No.1 singles matches against Akron and St. Francis (PA). She then captured the award on March 1 after posting wins against Youngstown State and Robert Morris.


SCHOLARLY WORK: Rob West and Steven Wipprecht have each been named Horizon League Scholar-Athlete of the Week this season. West, who owns a 3.64 GPA, captured the weekly honor on March 7 and Wipprecht, a 3.9 student, won the award on April 10.


A SPOTLESS HORIZON: Jenn Myers went 7-0 against Horizon League foes, including six wins at No. 4 singles. Her other league win came against Youngstown State's Tanisha Welch at No. 5 singles on Feb. 23. Myers finished the regular season with wins in seven of her last eight matches dating back to Mach 12 and she is 6-0 in April.


DOUBLES TAKE: How the men's team fares in doubles play has been a pretty good indicator of whether or not it will win. The CSU men are 17-0 when winning the doubles point and 0-7 when losing in doubles.


FRESHMEN IMPORTS: Denisa Muntean and Charlotte Gibbons have emerged as consistent winners in their first year in collegiate play. Gibbons, a native of Irchester, England, has won 11 of her last 15 matches at Nos. 2 and 3 singles to improve to 20-12, while Muntean, a Toronto native, owns a 13-17 mark with seven wins at No. 2 singles.


GOOD WINNERS AND GOOD SPORTS: Not only are Sarah Galon and Brad Groleski consistent winners on the court, they do so while showing exemplary sportsmanship. The two Vikings swept the Horizon League's inaugural Herb Foster Sportsmanship Awards last season, with Groleski winning the men's award and Galon claiming the women's trophy. The award, given to a player who exemplifies good sportsmanship on and off the court, is named in honor of the late Wright State coach who was at the helm of the Raiders from 1996-2004.


UP NEXT: The Horizon League men's and women's tennis champions will advance to the NCAA Championships May 11-12 on to-be-determined campus sites.