Sacré bleu! Tennis teams serve up victory

By Cameron Stubbs

The Youngstown State University tennis teams had a winning weekend as the men and women both secured multiple victories over conference opponents. 

The men took on Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis on Friday April 15, and the University of Illinois Chicago on Saturday April 16. 

The Penguins dominated IUPUI as they won two of the three doubles matches and four of the six singles matches.

The matchup against UIC was much of the same as the Penguins won two of the three doubles matches and five of the six singles matches. 

Junior Laurentiu Mandocescu was named the Horizon League Singles Player of the Week for both of his singles matches he won this weekend.

Mandocescu is 4-1 in singles matches amongst Horizon League opponents this year. This is also his third time earning this honor this year.

French freshman Nathan Favier did not take a single loss in the four matches he was in this weekend and commented on the team’s latest seven-game win streak.

“It’s very important,” Favier said. “For us, it meant a lot. It was good for us to be undefeated and to win the conference, so now we are 7-0 and we want to win this weekend to finish it.”

These big wins led the men’s team to secure a share of its first-ever Horizon League championship. A seven-game win streak and 7-0 in conference play has secured this honor. 

With one more win, the men’s team could be the first in Penguin history to stay undefeated in conference play. The men have made the postseason for the past 10 years and are gearing up for another run this season.

The women took on UIC on Friday and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday. 

Against the Flames, the Penguins won two of the three doubles matches and four of six singles matches. The Penguins won all three doubles matches and five of the six singles matches against the Panthers. 

Fellow French freshman Elisa Rigazio lost her singles match on Friday, but came back strong winning her matchup on Saturday. Rigazio commented on the teams weekend success.

“I think we had a really good day because we are really close to each other,” Rigazio said. “I feel that we did really great [with] two big matches this weekend so I’m really proud of my team right now.” 

These wins kept the women undefeated in conference play this season and extended their win streak to six games. 

The women have a chance to be undefeated in Horizon League play for the second time in school history and the first time since the 2014-15 season. With a postseason berth last year, the women hope to keep that momentum going as they head into the postseason this year.

Up next, the men will travel to Cleveland State University on April 23 to take on the Vikings, while the women will finish the regular season at home also against the Vikings. 

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