Phoenix Beats Wright State, Advances to Horizon League Title Match
By: Ryan Hartwig (@RyanHartwig)
INDIANAPOLIS (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – For the third consecutive season the Horizon League title match will feature a meeting between Green Bay and Cleveland State. The top-seeded Phoenix got past No. 4 Wright State 4-1 in its semifinal contest on Saturday, while the No. 2 Vikings survived sixth-seeded Detroit 4-3 at the Barbara Wynne Tennis Center at North Central High School.
Green Bay (17-6), the defending champion, and Cleveland State (11-11) will decide the league’s automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. CT. Due to the forecast for Sunday, the match has been moved inside to West Indy Racquet Club. For this reason, the contest will not be streamed live as originally scheduled.
The Phoenix got off to a strong start on Saturday against the Raiders by claiming the doubles point – something head coach Mark Thomas stressed as one of the keys leading up to the match. The senior duo of Erik Finkenbrink (Duelmen, Germany) and Craig Cox (Surrey, England) got things started with an 8-4 victory at No. 1 against the WSU combo of Hayden Joblin and Jamison Clark before sophomore Michael Tenzer (Neuried, Germany) and freshman Howard Scott (Exeter, England) clinched the opening point with an 8-6 win over Lauri Makikalli and Michael Lyzwa at No. 2.
Green Bay started fast in singles, winning the first set in four of the six matches, but the Raiders were able to respond and make the match highly competitive. WSU’s Clark evened the score at 1-1 with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 5, but freshman Rowan Isaaks (London, England) put the Phoenix back on top with his 6-3, 6-4 victory over Dan Hyman at No. 6.
Tenzer, who was named the 2013 Horizon League Player of the Year last night, gave Green Bay its third point with a straight-set win at No. 1 singles. Tenzer beat fellow first-teamer Hayden Joblin 6-4, 6-4 in a hard-fought match, coming back from a 4-1 deficit in set number two.
Finkenbrink and Cox were both serving to win their matches in the third set, but it was Scott who secured Green Bay’s fourth and final point when he finished off Ricardo Pineda 6-4 in the second set after winning the first in a tiebreaker 7-6 (5).
Last season the Phoenix ended CSU’s run of four-consecutive Horizon League Championships with the program’s first tournament title. For the Vikings, Sunday will mark the team’s sixth-straight title match appearance. The Phoenix won the regular season meeting between the two schools, picking up a thrilling 5-2 win over the Vikings on April 7 in Green Bay.
Green Bay 4, Wright State 1
No. 1 – Michael Tenzer (GB) def. Hayden Joblin (WSU) 6-4, 6-4
No. 2 – Erik Finkenbrink (GB) vs. Lauri Makikalli (WSU) 6-0, 4-6, 5-1 unfinished
No. 3 – Craig Cox (GB) vs. Michael Lyzwa (WSU) 6-7 (5), 6-1, 5-2 unfinished
No. 4 – Howard Scott (GB) def. Ricardo Pineda (WSU) 7-6 (5), 6-4
No. 5 – Jamison Clark (WSU) def. Leopold Gomez Islinger (GB) 6-4, 6-4
No. 6 – Rowan Isaaks (GB) def. Dan Hyman (WSU) 6-3, 6-4
No. 1 – Erik Finkenbrink/Craig Cox (GB) def. Jamison Clark/Hayden Joblin (WSU) 8-4
No. 2 – Michael Tebon/Howard Scott (GB) def. Lauri Makikalli/Michael Lyzwa (WSU) 8-6
No. 3 – Michael Tenzer/Joey Leto (GB) vs. Evan Neuman/Ricardo Pineda (WSU) 5-4 unfinished
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