By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
INDIANAPOLIS (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Squaring off in the Horizon League Tournament championship for the third-straight year, top-seeded Green Bay and second-seeded Cleveland State played a dramatic title match on Sunday morning at West Indy Racquet Club. The thrilling contest went the distance before the Vikings defeated the defending champion Phoenix, 4-3.
Things were closely contested from the start, with the doubles point coming down to the No. 3 doubles match between Green Bay’s Michael Tenzer (Neuried, Germany) and Joey Leto (Downers Grove, Ill.) and Cleveland State’s Jorg van der Vloet and Joe VanMeter. Green Bay led 5-2, but the Vikings rallied to win six of the next seven games and steal the crucial doubles point.
Freshman Howard Scott (Exeter, England) and sophomore Michael Tebon (Excelsior, Minn.) earned an 8-4 victory at No. 2 doubles while seniors Erik Finkenbrink (Duelmen, Germany) and Craig Cox (Surrey, England) fell at No. 1 doubles, 8-4.
Freshman Leopold Gomez Islinger (Weiden, Germany) evened the match at 1-1 by winning his No. 5 singles match in convincing fashion, 6-2, 6-1. After Cox fell 6-3, 7-6 (4) in a hard-fought match at No. 3 singles, freshman Rowan Isaacs (London, England) tied the team score with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at No. 6 singles.
CSU’s van der Vloet dealt Tenzer, the Horizon League Player of the Year, his first loss against a league opponent this season at No. 1 singles, winning 6-4, 6-2 to put the Vikings ahead 3-2.
Finkenbrink won in straight sets at No. 2 singles, beating Matt Kuelker 7-5, 6-2 to set the stage for the match to be decided at No. 4 singles.
Scott lost the opening set 6-2 and trailed 5-4 in set number two. The freshman saved a match point before rallying to win the last three games and force a third and final set. Cleveland State sophomore Niklas Jonsson broke Scott’s serve at 3-3 and won the next two games to capture the Vikings’ fifth title in the past six seasons.
Guided by Horizon League Coach of the Year Mark Thomas, Green Bay ends its season at 17-7 overall and with the first regular season conference title in program history.
Cleveland State 4, Green Bay 3
No. 1 - Ali Shabib/Niklas Jonsson (CSU) def. Erik Finkenbrink/Craig Cox (GB), 8-4
No. 2 - Howard Scott/Michael Tebon (GB) def. Matt Kuelker/Nolan Marks (CSU), 8-4
No. 3 - Jorg van der Vloet/Joe VanMeter (CSU) def. Michael Tenzer/Joey Leto (GB), 8-6
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3
No. 1 - van der Vloet (CSU) def. Tenzer (GB), 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 - Finkenbrink (GB) def. Kuelker (CSU), 7-5, 6-2
No. 3 - Shabib (CSU) def. Cox (GB), 6-3, 7-6(4)
No. 4 - Jonsson (CSU) def. Scott (GB), 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
No. 5 - Leopold Gomez Islinger (GB) def. Nolan Marks (CSU), 6-2, 6-1
No. 6 - Rowan Isaaks (GB) def. VanMeter (CSU), 6-2, 6-4
Order of finish: 5, 3, 6, 1, 2, 4
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