Results | Championship Bracket
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Youngstown State captured the Horizon League Tennis Championship crown in a 4-2 upset victory over No. 1 seed Cleveland State. After finishing runner-up last season to UIC, the Penguins garner their first Horizon League title in program history. With the win, Youngstown State earns an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship.
Carrying momentum from their semifinal win over No. 2 seed Milwaukee, the Penguins got out in front earning the doubles point after two quick victories. At No. 1, Marta Burak and Dominika Lackova defeated Alex Power and Ellen Folkers 8-4 while teammates Margarita Sadovnikova and Carolyn Jesko took down Alex Bush and Princess Gbadamosi 8-3 at No. 3. The No. 2 match of Cleveland State’s Kara Sherwood and Mathilde Orange versus Annina Brendel and Nehel Sahni went unfinished.
Cleveland State tied up the match at one point apiece when Victoria Bensimon took a straight-set victory from Sahni 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 singles. However, the even score didn’t last long as Youngstown State took the second singles point at No. 2 with a 6-3, 6-1 win from Burak over Bush.
It looked as though Youngstown State was going to run away with the match when Brendel collected a straight-set win against Orange 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4 to put the team out front 3-1 over the Vikings. Cleveland State once again countered with a point of its own when Power defeated Jesko 6-2, 7-6 at No. 6.
With Youngstown State leading the match 3-2, it came down to the No. 1 and No. 3 singles positions to determine which team would take home the conference title and bid to the NCAA Tournament.
After stealing the first set 7-6 in a tiebreaker, Sadovnikova battled in the second with Player of the Year Lauren Golick of Cleveland State at No. 1. With every point, the intensity of the match grew and as others finished up on the surrounding courts so did the importance of garnering the point.
The second set reached an even 5-5 appearing as if another tiebreaker would take place as Sadovnikova moved it to 6-5 winning her serve in the next game. With Golick serving to keep the match alive and the teams’ hope of a Horizon League Championship, Sadovnikova picked up the pace to break the freshman’s serve to not only win the match but clinch the Horizon League Championship title for the Penguins.
The Cleveland State Vikings finish the season with a 12-12 overall record and share of the Horizon League regular season championship. Youngstown State moved to 14-11 overall and will find out its NCAA Tournament opponent on the NCAA Selection Show Tuesday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. ET streaming on NCAA.com.
1. SADOVNIKOVA, M. (YSU) def. GOLICK, L. (CSU) 7-6, 7-5
2. BURAK, M. (YSU) def. BUSH, A. (CSU) 6-3, 6-1
3. LACKOVA, D. (YSU) vs. SHERWOOD, K. (CSU) – Unfinished
4. BRENDEL, A. (YSU) def. ORANGE, M. (CSU) 6-3, 6-3
5. BENSIMON, V. (CSU) def. SAHNI, N. (YSU) 6-3, 6-2
6. POWER, A. (CSU) def. JESKO, C. (YSU) 6-2, 7-6
1. BURAK, M./LACKOVA, D. (YSU) def. POWER, A./FOLKERS, E. (CSU) 8-4
2. BRENDEL, A./SAHNI, N. (YSU) vs. SHERWOOD, K./ORANGE, M. (CSU) – Unfinished
3. SADOVNIKOVA, M./JESKO, C. (YSU) def. BUSH, A./GBADAMOSI, P. (CSU) 8-3
Tags: Cleveland State - Tennis · Horizon League - Tennis · Youngstown State - Tennis