The Stetson men's tennis team (8-0) swept Cleveland State to earn its eighth straight victory to start the 2013 campaign on Tuesday at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.
For the third straight time out, the Hatters began things by winning the doubles point. Sophomores Chester Espie and Nathan Debut made quick work of their Cleveland State opponents, winning 8-1 at number three doubles. Senior Didrik Berg and freshman Simon Julin then won 8-5 at number two doubles to earn Stetson the first point of the match.
Freshman Cahit Kapukiran got the ball rolling in singles play, winning 6-3, 6-1 at the number four position. Julin also made quick work of his Viking opponent, defeating Ali Shabib at number three singles, 6-2, 6-2.
With a 3-0 lead, and just having lost his second set 1-6, Berg set out to clinch the match for the Hatters at number one singles. The senior fought back with a 6-2 win in set three to finish 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 and secure the victory for Stetson.
Debut, Espie, and freshman Laurynas Antropikas also went on to win at number six, number five, and number two, respectively. Debut earned a 6-4, 6-4 in his first competition of the spring, Espie came back from falling in set two to win 6-7 (1), 6-4, 6-1, and Antropikas captured a 7-6 (7), 6-4 to complete the sweep for the Hatters.
Espie's victory marked the 20th straight singles win for the sophomore, tying the all-time record at Stetson. His next win would give him the program record.
"The team showed much improvement from yesterday's match against a very good team in Cleveland State," Director of Tennis Pierre Pilote said. "It's great to see our young team improve with every match, and we are right where we aimed to be before starting conference play."
Stetson will now set out to begin conference action on Thursday, March 14. The Hatters host Atlantic Sun Conference newcomer Northern Kentucky at 4:00 p.m. at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center.