Photo by Brian Hradek

Cleveland State Men's Tennis Team Watching NCAA Selection Show


May 7, 2018

Men’s tennis earns conference championship

By Brian Hradek

The Cleveland State Vikings men’s tennis team captured its sixth Horizon League Tournament title Sunday April 29 — the first in five years. The Vikings beat Detroit Mercy 4-2.

The Vikings made its second straight appearance in the championship game, after falling short last year. Nico Mostardi, the team’s number one slot, made it clear how important it was for them and him personally to win the league this year.

“Last year I didn’t provide a point for the team in the final match and this year I really wanted to be able to put a point on the board,” Mostardi said. “We were so close last year and I just wish I had done more, I didn’t want to have that feeling again.”

As last year’s runner-up, the Vikings were sixth-seed coming into the tournament.
“Last year was a tough  loss, but we were not expected to even be there as a six seed,” said Ben Slade, a junior, who’s undefeated in conference play this season.
This year’s win makes up for last year’s championship loss.
“Last year was a source of motivation for this year and winning it now takes away the disappointment,” Slade said.

The Vikings won the doubles point to set the stage for the singles matches.
The momentum from the doubles point carried over to the singles’ matches as Mostardi grabbed the next point, putting the Vikings up 2-0. The women’s tennis team added support during the championship.

Even though the Vikings looked in control, The Titans stormed back to tie the points up at two. Slade’s singles match became even more important at this point. Slade lost the first set, but won the next two to win the match and put the Vikings up 3-2.

“After losing the first set I could see that it was going to be close match,” Slade said. “Once Nico got us up 2-0 and with Matthew being up, I knew we were close and that motivated me to put up a point and put the pressure back on them.”
After Slade clinched his match, Matthew Terry was able to win his singles match to give the Vikings the fourth point for the conference title.

Mostardi summed up the moment; “Winning as a team is definitely one of the best moments of my life. There’s nothing better than winning with your brothers.”



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