GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's tennis team opened up its home schedule over the weekend, splitting a pair of Horizon League matches. The Phoenix battled tough with the defending conference champions from Cleveland State, but dropped a 4-3 decision on Saturday before earning a 5-2 win over Youngstown State the following morning at Western Racquet and Fitness.
Against the Vikings on Saturday, the Phoenix earned the doubles point with hard-fought wins at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots. Sophomores Erik Finkenbrink (Duelman, Germany) and Josh Oothoudt (Minot, N.D.) teamed up to take a 9-7 win over CSU's Yannick Goossens and Chris Klepatz in the No. 2 match, while junior Paul Swanson (Coon Rapids, Minn.) and sophomore Craig Cox (Surrey, England) paired to earn a 9-7 at the No. 3 spot over Matt Ford and Matt Kuelker.
In singles action, Finkenbrink came from behind in the No. 1 match to beat Goossens 3-6, 7-6, 6-4. Phoenix sophomore Christoph Hopfe also picked up a victory in singles play, beating Klepatz 7-5, 6-1 in the No. 4 slot. The Vikings were able to secure the other four singles matches to take home the 4-3 team victory.
"Hats off to Cleveland State for going on the road and pulling out a tight match," Green Bay head coach Mark Thomas said. "It comes as no surprise that they are the three-time defending conference champions. This match had the most momentum swings I've seen in a college tennis match and unfortunately we weren't able to pull out the final swing. We had a few match points to clinch the win, but credit Cleveland State for playing well under pressure."
The Phoenix rebounded against Youngstown State the following day, led by a strong all-around performance by Hopfe. Hopfe teamed up with senior Fabian Gogolin (Cologne, Germany) at No. 1 doubles for one of Green Bay's three doubles wins (8-4), and also dominated at No. 4 singles against Zeeshan Ismail (6-1, 6-0).
"It was nice to see our guys come out and compete after a tough loss on Saturday," Thomas said. "Our doubles teams have continued to play well, and Christoph Hopfe was fantastic all day. We have three challenging matches this weekend, so I'm looking forward to preparation this week."
The Green Bay men's tennis team heads to Milwaukee this Friday for a neutral site meeting with Toledo at Marquette University at 11 a.m. before returning home for Horizon League matches against Butler on Saturday (2 p.m.) and Wright State on Sunday (10 a.m.).
Cleveland State 4, Green Bay 3
1. Erik Finkenbrink (GB) def. Yannick Goossens (CSU) 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
2. Rob Fox (CSU) def. Paul Swanson (GB) 6-0, 6-2
3. Matt Kuelker (CSU) def. Craig Cox (GB) 4-6, 7-6, 7-6
4. Christoph Hopfe (GB) def. Chris Klepatz (CSU) 7-5, 6-1
5. John Haley (CSU) def. Fabian Gogolin (GB) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3
6. Matt Ford (CSU) def. Henning Jess (GB) 6-2, 7-6
1. Fox/Haley (CSU) def. Gogolin/Hopfe (GB) 8-2
2. Finkenbrink/Oothoudt (GB) def. Goossens/Klepatz (CSU) 9-7
3. Swanson/Cox (GB) def. Ford/Kuelker (CSU) 9-7
Green Bay 5, Youngstown State 2
1. Tariq Ismail (YSU) def. Erik Finkenbrink (GB) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
2. Craig Cox (GB) def. Felipe Rosa (YSU) 7-5, 7-5
3. Paul Swanson (GB) def. Max Schmerin (YSU) 4-6, 7-5, 10-3
4. Christoph Hopfe (GB) def. Zeeshan Ismail (YSU) 6-1, 6-0
5. Fabian Gogolin (GB) def. Rodrigo Campos (YSU) 6-1, 6-3
6. Rob Emig (YSU) def. Henning Jess (GB) 6-2, 6-3
1. Hopfe/Gogolin (GB) def. Ismail/Schmerin (YSU) 8-4
2. Finkenbrink/Oothoudt (GB) def. Rosa/Campos (YSU) 8-7
3. Cox/Swanson (GB) def. Ismail/Emig (YSU) 8-3