Results | Championship Bracket
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—For the second-straight year the Green Bay men’s tennis team made it to the Horizon League Championship final, however, this year the Phoenix return to Wisconsin with the Championship trophy in their hands. The No. 1 seed Phoenix defeated No. 2 seed Cleveland State 4-3 on a windy afternoon at the University of Michigan Varsity Tennis Center.
The Green Bay men’s team claims its second Horizon League Championship in the past three years, each coming at the expense of Cleveland State. The Phoenix earn an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament and find out their opponent on Tuesday, April 29 at 5:00 p.m. ET on the NCAA Selection showing airing on NCAA.com.
Green Bay continued to have strong Horizon League Championship performances throughout its lineup and dominated doubles play to capture the first point of the finals. The No. 1 duo of Michael Tenzer and Howard Scott picked up an 8-4 win over Ali Shabib and Joe VanMeter while teammates Rowan Isaaks and Leopold Gomez Islinger defeated Jorg van der Vloet and Manuel Bellutti 8-3 at No. 3. The No. 2 match of Cleveland State’s Matt Kuelker and Nolan Marks and Green Bay’s Michael Tebon and Joey Leto went unfinished.
Two of the six singles matches finished in quick straight-sets with Cleveland State and Green Bay both splitting the first two singles points, respectively. Cleveland State’s Bellutti defeated Isaaks 6-2, 6-2 to earn the first Vikings point of the finals at No. 5. At No.1, Player of the Year Michael Tenzer remained undefeated in conference play for the season with a 6-2, 6-3 win over the Vikings’ Kuelker.
The match began to slow down as sets got closer and closer between the two top teams in the conference. Green Bay’s Islinger was the next to earn a point with a win over Shabib 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 at No. 2 in an intense back-and-forth battle. The point brought the Phoenix within one of capturing the Horizon League title as the final three singles matches were coming down to the wire on the surrounding courts.
Cleveland State closed the point gap with a win at No. 6 from Marks over Jorge Gonzalez Soler. The two-set match went to two tiebreakers with Marks coming out on top 7-6, 7-6 in each one.
A few minutes later, Cleveland State continued its comeback with another two set match with each going to tiebreakers on the No. 4 court. The Vikings’ VanMeter defeated Leto 7-6, 7-6 to even up the match score at three points apiece.
With the match tied at three, the Championship title all resided on the No. 3 matchup of Cleveland State’s van der Vloet versus Green Bay’s Scott. Scott took the first set in a tiebreaker 7-6 while van der Vloet captured the second 6-4.
In the third set, Scott trailed 5-1 before mounting a comeback of his own to even it at 5-5 against van der Vloet. With momentum on his side, Scott broke van der Vloet’s serve after going back-and-forth trading off points to put him up 6-5 in the set. With the serve on his side, Scott took the set and clinched the Horizon League Championship for the Phoenix in a match that took a little over four hours to complete.
Cleveland State finished its season with a 15-8 overall record while Green Bay remained undefeated against conference opponents. Green Bay goes into the NCAA Tournament with an 18-7 overall record and will find out its opponent on the NCAA Selection Show airing on NCAA.com on Tuesday, April 29 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
1. TENZER, M. (GB) def. KUELKER, M. (CSU) 6-2, 6-3
2. ISLINGER, L. (GB) def. SHABIB, A. (CSU) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
3. SCOTT, H. (GB) def. VAN DER VLOET, J. (CSU) 7-6, 6-4, 7-5
4. VANMETER, J. (CSU) def. LETO, J. (GB) 6-7, 6-2, 7-6
5. BELLUTTI, M. (CSU) def. ISAAKS, R. (GB) 6-2, 6-2
6. MARKS, N. (CSU) vs. GONZALEZ SOLER, J. (GB) 7-6, 7-6
1. TENZER, M./SCOTT, H. (GB) def. SHABIB, A./VANMETER, J. (CSU) 8-4
2. TEBON, M./LETO, J. (GB) vs. KUELKER, M./MARKS, N. (CSU) -- Unfinished
3. ISAAKS, R./ISLINGER, G. (GB) def. VAN DER VLOET, J./BELLUTTI, M. (CSU) 8-3