ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Cleveland State women's tennis team dropped a heartbreaking match in the Horizon League Semifinals Saturday evening, falling to the Wright State Raiders, 4-2. The Vikings finish the 2017 season with a 14-10 record, and a share of the Horizon League Regular Season title.
The Vikings, who were the second seed in this year's tournament, made an appearance in the Horizon League Semifinals for the 11th time under head coach Brian Etzkin.
"This was a tough way to end the season, but we definitely put it all on the line tonight and left everything on the court," associate head coach Frank Polito said. "Throughout the entire season we have had to fight and claw our way back into matches, and tonight wasn't any different. Wright State played a great match, and we knew we were in for a battle before the contest started. We still have a lot to be proud of from this season - like earning a share of the regular season championship for the second straight year – and are always proud to be Vikings."
Cleveland State dropped the first point of the match, heading into singles play trailing 1-0.
The Vikings were able to even the match with a win at No. 5 singles then, with Jana Schober picking up a 6-0, 6-3 victory to put the match score at 1-1.
Wright State responded with a pair of wins at No. 3 and No. 4 singles then, gaining a 3-1 advantage with three singles matches left on the courts.
Blanche Lenoan was able to bring the Vikings back within one point at 3-2 following a win at No. 6 singles, earning her 19th singles win of the season with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory.
With the top two singles matches left on the court, the clinching point of the match came at No. 1 singles, with Wright State picking up a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-1 win for the match victory.
Saturday's semifinal marked the final match for the senior duo of Princess Gbadamosi and Victoria Bensimon, as they finished their Viking careers as two of the top players in program history. Both seniors rank in the top-10 on the Singles and Doubles Wins Lists;
Bensimon – Singles; 74 wins (T-2nd) Doubles; 55 wins (T-10th)
Gbadamosi – Singles; 69 wins (8th) Doubles; 56 wins (T-8th)
During their careers, this duo led the Vikings to three Horizon League Regular Season titles and an appearance in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament during every year of their careers – including a championship match appearance as freshmen.
Cleveland State's 14-10 record during the 2017 season marked the 12th winning season for the Vikings during Etzkin's tenure.
No. 6 Wright State 4, No. 2 Cleveland State 2
1. Bensimon/Schober (CSU) vs. Turner/Culbertson (WSU), 5-2, unf.
2. Verstrepen/Haller (WSU) def. Spindler/Golawska (CSU), 6-3
3. Cloern/Morgan (WSU) def. Gbadamosi/Lenoan (CSU), 6-2
1. Karoline Haller (WSU) def. Victoria Bensimon (CSU), 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-1
2. Isabella Spindler (CSU) vs. Linsey Verstrepen (WSU), 7-6 (4), 4-6, 2-0, unf.
3. Elaine Cloern (WSU) def. Aleksandra Golawska (CSU), 6-3, 6-2
4. Haily Morgan (WSU) def. Princess Gbadamosi (CSU), 7-5, 6-2
5. Jana Schober (CSU) def. Vanessa Madrigal (WSU), 6-0, 6-3
6. Blanche Lenoan (CSU) def. Tori Turner (WSU), 3-6, 6-3, 6-4