Northern Kentucky - UIC 1st Round Box Score | Youngstown State - Cleveland State 1st Round Box Score
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On a cool, cloudy day at the Varsity Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Michigan, both Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State ground out wins to advance into the Horizon League Men’s Tennis Championship semifinals.
The Norse, competing in its first League tennis championship, had to hold off a fierce UIC rally to claim a 4-2 win. On the opposite side of the tennis center, a shorthanded Youngstown State squad gave the Vikings all it could handle before succumbing, 4-0.
Northern Kentucky will play No. 2 seed Green Bay in the semifinals, while Cleveland State will take on No. 1 Valparaiso. Both matches will be played at 3 p.m. ET and will be carried live on ESPN3.
In doubles play, the Norse breezed past the Flames, taking No. 2 at 6-0 and No. 1, 6-4, to take the early 1-0 advantage.
UIC tied the match early in singles play behind Mitch Granger’s 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 4, but Northern Kentucky followed in short order with Jody Maginley’s 6-3, 6-4 victory at No. 2 and Nick Lang’s 6-1, 6-4 triumph at No. 6 to move within a point of clinching the match.
At the time, Northern Kentucky held leads at Nos. 1, 3 and 5 singles, having taken the first sets in each. However, UIC would rally in each match to force them into decisive third sets.
Max Cederkall closed out his comeback at No. 5, pulling UIC within 3-2 with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory.
Chris Cole was closing in on tying the match, as he led at No. 3, 4-3, in the third, but Mate Virag rallied at No. 1, taking the last three games of the third to emerge with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 triumph and push the Norse into the semifinals.
Youngstown State came into its first round match missing its Nos. 2 and 3 singles players, forcing the Penguins to play without a No. 3 doubles team and No. 6 singles player.
Essentially starting with a 1-0 advantage, the Vikings found themselves in a fight for the doubles point after Hugo Morth and Agustin Reyes won at No. 1 doubles, 6-0.
In a match that saw several turns, Colton Buffington and Kevin Goth pulled out an 8-6 victory in the tie-break to push Cleveland State to the doubles point.
Down 2-0 entering singles, Youngstown State continued to fight, pushing four of the five matches into the third set.
Mirko Radosevic put Cleveland State on the brink of victory with a 6-2, 7-6(3) triumph at No. 2 singles. With YSU holding leads a Nos. 1 and 4 courtesy of Morth and Reyes, a comeback was in the works, but Goth rallied at No. 5 to clinch the match for the Vikings, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.