By John Ostapowicz
The Youngstown State University women’s tennis team fought hard against Cleveland State University on April 23, but came up short 5-2.
Despite the loss, Youngstown State was able to earn the doubles point by winning matches at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles.
Freshman Elisa Rigazio was able to win at No. 4 to put the Penguins up by 2.
Rigazio has been a pivotal difference maker for the team coming in as a freshman from Lyon, France. She has set a 6-4 singles record highlighted by a three set victory over Duquesne University and went 6-5 in doubles matches.
She has been striving to do better and will achieve that next season with her freshman year already under her belt.
“I’m doing what I have to and I know that I have to get better,” Rigazio said.
The loss allowed the Vikings to earn the Horizon League regular-season title winner over the Penguins. However, losing the title does not affect the team, as it will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to play in the Horizon League Championships tournament April 30.
The women’s tennis team finished 11-9 for the season and 5-1 in league play, with the additions of freshmen; Julia Marko, Lili Minich and Rigazio.
In the 2020-2021 season, Youngstown State was 16-10 overall and 8-2 in the Horizon League with the help of seniors Lucia Zagar and Tamara Teufl.
In men’s tennis, the outcome against Cleveland State was different as the team brought down the Vikings 5-2 on April 23. Youngstown State claimed the outright Horizon League title with the victory.
In singles play, Youngstown State won matches at No.1, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6.
At No. 1, junior Laurentiu Mandocescu picked up a 6-0, 6-3 win over Viking sophomore Maxime Marsechal-Hay. At No. 3, freshman Clement Mainguy won 7-6, 6-3 over junior Kade Mindry.
At No. 4, freshman Nathan Favier went to work by defeating sophomore Juande-Dios Abboud by a score of 6-4, 6-2. Junior Will Everett stepped in to beat sophomore Austin Staiger 6-0, 6-4 to end the day.
The men’s team has earned a bye heading into the Horizon League Championships and will play in the tournament at 11 a.m. April 30.
The bye is well-needed, as the team has played non-stop with few breaks throughout the season.
“It’s the end of the season and we have played a lot of matches every weekend, and we are very tired,” Favier said.
The Penguins finished the season 13-8 overall and 8-0 in conference play and compared to last year’s 12-9 record and 5-3 in the conference.
Mandocescu was awarded for his dominance this season with his fifth Horizon League’s Singles Player of the Week on April 26. He was also named Academic All-Horizon League along with David Alvarez.