TEMPE, Ariz. – After making their sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament last month, the Cleveland State men's tennis team finished the year ranked ninth in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Regional rankings.
As part of the Midwest Region, Cleveland State is one of just two mid-major teams to earn a spot in the year-end top-10, joining Western Michigan who came in at No. 6.
"It's great to be recognized for the season we had, the guys put in a lot of hard work this year, and I'm very proud of everything that they achieved," head coach Brian Etzkin said. "We played every match with the mindset of working towards our end goal, and playing with that focused energy helped us achieve those goals. We have a solid group of returners coming back next year, and based off of what we were able to accomplish this year, our future is definitely bright."
Cleveland State finished the year with a 17-11 record and captured its sixth Horizon League Tournament title in April, becoming the third league team all-time to win six or more tournament championships.
The Vikings, who posted their 13th winning season over the last 16 years, recorded their sixth 17-win season under Etzkin during the 2018 spring campaign. Included in Cleveland State's 17 victories was a program-record tying 11 wins at home – one of which came over DePaul who also earned a spot in the ITA Midwest Regional rankings.
Individually, the Vikings were led by Horizon League Player of the Year Nico Mostardi and Horizon League Freshman of the Year Matthew Terry, who both finished the season tied for second on the CSU Single-Season Wins List with 28 victories. Luke Phillips (27 wins) and Benjamin Slade (24 wins) also finished the year with 20+ singles wins, marking the third time in program history that four Vikings finished the year in the 20-win club.
This marks the third time in program history that the Vikings have appeared in the year-end regional rankings, also earning a spot on the list following the 2009-10 and 2008-09 campaigns.