Cleveland State Athletics tournament schedule

-From May 8 to 10, the Women’s Golf team will be at the Ohio State Golf Club Scarlet Course in Columbus.

-The softball team will compete for the Horizon League Tournament May 10.

-Men’s Golf will begin NCAA Regionals on May 15. The location of the event is yet to be announced.

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Player profile: Aleksandra Golawska

Cleveland State University junior Aleksandra Golawska she said she fell in love with tennis when she started playing as a 6-year-old in Poland.

With 16 years of playing experience, this member of the university tennis team recently received a Viking of the Week award for picking up her 50th career singles win.

“It’s always a big honor to become the Viking of the Week, and getting that 50th career singles win makes it even more exciting,” Golawska said. “I am proud of myself and happy that my hard work pays off.”

Golawska said she feels most comfortable being able to switch up the pace during rallies with her opponents. “Most of the ladies are used to hard flat balls,” Golawski said. “Being able to hit balls with a different pace and mixing up the game gives me a huge advantage over my opponents.”

When it comes to confidence during a match, Golawski said it depends on the day and her attitude. In general though, she feels composed on the court and can handle adversity well.

When it came to influences, Golawski singled out her dad. She said her dad has been an inspiration for her on and off the court.

“My dad taught me and helped me to become the person I am, showing me how important hard work and dedication are in life,” Golawski explained. “Throughout my entire career he’s always been there for me, making sure I use my full potential and become a successful player.”

 

Photo Courtesy of CSUVikings.com

Aleksandra Golawska, a junior at Cleveland State, has been playing tennis since she was 6 years old.

Men’s and women’s gold win Horizon League Titles

With its first league title in school history, Cleveland State University’s women’s golf team will play in the NCAA Columbus Regional Championship.

The event will be held on May 8 through 10 at the Scarlet Course at the Ohio State University Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio.

The team will be one of 18 at the Columbus regional (University of Florida, Florida State University, University of South Carolina, University of Arkansas, University of Colorado Boulder, Texas A&M University, Purdue University, Ohio State, University of Michigan, San Jose State University, University of Houston, University of Louisville, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Kentucky, Old Dominion University, University of Delaware and Missouri State University) to compete in the NCAA regional.

Cleveland State will be the 18th seed in this tournament of 18 teams.

On April 25, Cleveland State, Northern Kentucky University, Youngstown State University and Oakland University traded first place throughout the day at the Horizon League title match at the Mission Inn Resort, but were all within four shots of the lead as they went into the last 18 holes of the tournament.

The team edged out Youngstown State by three shots in the third round. Sophomore Rayana Oosterhuis finished as the runner-up to the tournament champion, freshman Kaylee Neumeister finished in sixth place, freshman Ellie Cronin tied for 11th place, junior Emily Turski tied for 20th place and junior Sophie Kelner tied for 27th place at the Resort.

The men’s team made it to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season after winning its fourth consecutive Horizon League championship from April 23 to 25. Sophomore Anton Krecic earned medalist honors in a playoff against Horizon League Co-Player of the Year Ryan Wenzler of Wright State, securing the team title.

This title was the men’s eighth Horizon League title in 12 seasons. They will advance to the NCAA Regionals. The Regionals will run from May 15 through 17, starting in Auburn, Wash.

Anton Krecic, Patrick Luth and Joey Krecic finished inside the top 10 in the Horizon League title match. Anton Krecic shot 71-75-69, Luth shot 73-76-72 and Joey Krecic shot 76-73-76.

Women’s track training for season

The Cleveland State University Women’s Track and Field team return to the track April 8 after a month-long break. It meets at Oberlin College in Oberlin, where a handful of select people will participate.

The team has seen its best success in the 1500 and 5K events, and that comes from most of the athletes participating in cross country during the fall.

Head coach Madeline Outman said she is excited to get back on the track. In her first full year at Cleveland State — she started coaching for the school in October — she’s been coaching in track and field for seven years, starting in Division III at Emory University in Atlanta, then Division II at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike in the Greater Cleveland area, and then Division III at Cleveland State.

“In addition to the 1500 and 5K, the girls have also done well in the 400 meter dash,” Outman said. “The reason for this is because they are a pretty dedicated group of sprinters, and they have been working hard during the month break.”

Outman talked about the break in March, saying the reason for it was because it is the women’s first year. Normally, in a full schedule, March has the team practicing like any other scheduled month. Since Outman felt it was a lot to ask of at the time, she plans on introducing the full schedule next spring.

The obvious goal, Outman said, is to perform the best for the conference, especially the All-Ohio meet, coming up April 14 at the University of Cincinnati.

“All schools in general love [the All-Ohio meet],” Outman said. “Everyone from Ohio State to lesser programs like ours participates, and it’s a real challenge and fun to be a part of.”

When it comes to standouts on the roster, Outman said she appreciates all of her athletes, but two stand out in her mind; Captain Samantha Butterbaugh (junior), and Karen Barrientos (junior). Outman was praiseworthy of Butterbaugh’s leadership on and off the field, and said she would see some improvement this season. Barrientos made First Team All Conference, which had not happened for Cleveland State since the 1990s. Outman said Barrientos was someone to watch out for in the 5K.

Most of all, Outman said she is pleased with the progress the girls have made in her first season as head coach.

“We don’t have as many competitions as is typical, but the girls do great training and the competition is the fun part,” Madeline said. “They’ve been able to keep real good spirits, and have made a lot of credit and progress performance wise.”

Golf team travels to tourneys

Cleveland State University’s Men’s Golf team participated in one last invitational before the Horizon League Tournament, the Earl Yestingmeir Invitational at the Delaware Country Club in Muncie, Ind.. The team competed in the invitational from Friday April 14 to Saturday April 15 all day both days.

Earlier in the season the golf team has seen success, usually finishing inside the top five or top 10 out of normally 16 teams. In its last matchup (Tuesday, March 28. at the Villanova Wildcat Invitational), the team placed second out of 19 teams. The previous day, they finished fourth out of 19 teams at the same event.

The team’s standout golfer is senior Patrick Luth, who won two Horizon League Men’s Golfer of the Week awards in 2017, winning one on March 1 and another one on March 29 for sharing top honors at the Wildcat Invitational. Luth became the first Cleveland State golfer to win an event since junior Joey Krecic won the Wright State Invitational in April, 2016.

Head coach Steve Weir, an experienced golfer himself, has given equal praise to Luth, mentioning how close he has been to breaking individual records while also noting his scoring average is the largest on the team.

Weir is in his 10th season as a head coach, all with Cleveland State. During his time with the golf team, he has developed 19 first team All Horizon League players, and led the men’s team to the Horizon League title in 2016.

In general, Weir said he has been satisfied with how the team has played.

“It’s been a solid year,” Weir said. “We don’t have any wins yet, but several of our golfers and the team itself have broken records in the fall.”

Weir said the team knows the East Yestingmeir Invitational well, as it played there last year.

“Our goal right now is to take it one step at a time,” Weir said. “This will help us get ready for the Horizon League Tournament.”

Weir said the team’s standout performance was at the EKU Invitational in Richmond, Ky. Sept. 17-18. The team finished second out of 18 teams on the first day, and third on the second.

Photo Courtesy of Viking Athletics

Senior Patrick Luth, the men’s golf team’s standout player, won two Horizon League Men’s Golfer of the Week awards in 2017.

Young Softball Team Plays Across Florida

Cleveland State University’s softball team is in the middle of a winter tour in Florida where it has competed in Jacksonville for the Jacksonville Tournament and the Florida Gulf Coast University Four Points Spring Break Classic.

The team has struggled so far this season, with a 2-20 start. Part of this has to do with a lack of experience. OF Sofia Johantgen — a transfer student — is the only senior on the roster, and most of the players are sophomores and juniors.

Head coach Becky Norris, who has been with the program for four years, has been involved with softball since she was five years old, and has been coaching for more than 20 years. Norris says she’s proud to be part of a sport she feels is the only one where coaches get involved.

Moving forward with a young, inexperienced roster is something Norris wants to do.

“I feel [junior catcher] Melanie Woodward is the closest thing we have to a veteran on this roster,” Norris said. “It’s a young group, but they have learning moments every day, and we continue to stride forward.”

Woodward, also an infielder, has a .217 batting average in 22 games played, with six RBI, eight runs and a stolen base.

Norris said she feels the sophomore class is doing an exceptional job. Two of the standouts, infielder Bailee Gray and pitcher Macy Kaisk, have batting averages of .250 and .286 respectfully. Norris also said Woodward is a strong leader and mentor for these sophomores as well.

Recruiting, Norris said, is something she looks forward to the most. “We’ll be able to take the necessary steps to add the right players and rebalance our class,” Norris said. “Recruiting will be awesome.”

Fencing Finishes Regionals

Six individuals on the Cleveland State University Fencing Team, sophomore Logan Shoemaker, freshmen Vincenzo Trovato, Burton Hirschman and Aidan Gillespie, senior Logan Eskew, and senior Rachel Grabowski, the only female from the Cleveland State team, competed in the NCAA Midwest Regional March 11 at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Shoemaker had the highest placement, finishing sixth at the epee event (in which CSU was the second seed behind Ohio State University) with five victories in the five-touch round-robin bouts.

Trovato, who competed in the same event, put up four wins.

Head coach James Fazekas, finishing his second year at CSU, was proud of the epee squad, praising it for being well prepared for the events. “We have a young group of fencers, gaining experience, which is our flaw in the short term, but with added experience it will benefit us in the longterm,” Fazekas said.

Fazekas said he had hoped the individuals competing at regionals would be able to finish inside the top eight or top 12 for experience and momentum for next season. Each of the events had 16 people competing in total.

Indeed, Shoemaker placed in the top six in epee. Trovato finished in the top eight in epee, and Hirschman placed in the top 12 for the same event. Eskew placed in the top 12 in the foil event, and Gillespie finished in the top 12 in the saber event.

Fazekas said junior Sarah Mok (who competes in the foil event), stands out among the female fencers “Mok is one of our strongest technical fencers, and she has a good tactical sound reasoning,” Fazekas said. “She’s made a lot of progress, and the hope is that she can break out next season.”

On the male side, fencer Matthew Gebbett, also a junior, stands out, Fazekas said. “Gebbett comes to us with lots of talent and experience and is fast and technical,” Fazekas said. “Especially against stronger competition, he must improve his stamina and approach to the game.”

Fazekas said both Mok and Gebbett both need training partners at CSU to push them, and is banking on next year’s recruiting class to get stronger fencers to allow that goal to happen.

Photo by Viking Athletics

Cleveland State’s 2016-17 Men’s and Women’s fencing teams finished with a record of 5-3 in team events. The young team is made up of more than half freshmen and sophomores.