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September 26, 2013

Building up a tradition of success

Right on point when serving up competition

By Ronnie Holman

The Cleveland State University’s men and women’s tennis team is off to a really exceptional start this season. The team is looking to build on their finish from last year in winning a conference championship. The women are a young team and the men are stacked with veteran leaders. The women finished last weekend at the Cornell Fall Invite as runner up. Ellen Folkers lost in the championship match to Madison Cohen of Akron University. They were in action this weekend at Ball State Invitational and the freshman team of Princess Gbadamosi and Victoria Bensimon finished as runner up in the doubles competition. They lost to a doubles team from Arkansas State. Coach Etzkin is excited about the men and women’s early success and looks forward to the rest of the season.

Matt Kuelker“It’s still early but we are off to a good start,” Etzkin said. “The women are different because they’re young and we have four women adjusting to their first full year of college tennis.”

The men finished really well at the WMU invitational. Matt Kuelker and Nolan Marks defeated a doubles team from WMU to earn Cleveland State’s only doubles victory. Kuelkar, Matt Ford, and Joe VanMeter etched out victories in singles competition for Cleveland State. This weekend Jorg van der Vloet was runner up in doubles competition and van der Vloet was runner up in singles competition.

“We have a veteran men’s squad so there are no real surprises there with the success,” Etzkin said. “There is a lot more maturity from years past with our men, they’ve come out the box working hard.”

The men and women have expectations of winning a conference championship. The team wants to continue getting better with studies in the classroom and on the tennis court.

”Our goals are similar both men and women, we want to win a conference championship and our men were successful in doing so last year,” Etzkin said. “We have to continue to get better in the classroom and on the court.”

Tennis maybe a forgotten sport to some people. The team practices over in their corner with hard work and sweat. The team is probably one of the best that Cleveland State has ever had. There are about three players from the Cleveland area.

“We have been sustaining excellence for half a decade now,” Etzkin said. “Cleveland State has something to be proud of, both teams are probably one of the most successful teams in the history of CSU, it has been exciting to watch.”