The Youngstown State men's tennis team begins play at the 2012 Horizon League Championships on Friday at 1 p.m. in Indianapolis, Ind. The third-seed Penguins open tournament play against No. 6 Butler at the North Central High School Tennis Courts.
YSU (9-10 overall and 4-3 in the Horizon League) defeated the Bulldogs for the first time ever last Sunday on a cool and windy afternon at the YSU Tennis Courts. YSU is 1-16 all-time in Horizon League Championships play with it's lone coming against Wright State in 2009. YSU lost to Wright State in the opening round last year before falling to Butler in the fifth-place match.
The winner of the YSU-Butler match will take on second-seeded Green Bay on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. The Penguins lost a tough 4-3 match to the Phoenix earlier this year at the Boardman Tennis Center.
At No. 1, Tariq Ismail is looking to pick up the 50th victory of his YSU career. This season he posted a 6-13 mark at No. 1 singles this spring and went 2-5 in Horizon League play battling a foot injury. He is 9-17 for the campaign.
Freshman Silviu Mistreanu has had a spectular spring at No. 2 singles. Mistreanu was 6-1 in Horizon League play and 14-5 overall this spring after joining the program in January. He played his last 15 matches at No. 2 singles posting an 11-4 mark. His lone Horizon League defeat came in three sets (1-6, 7-5, 8-10) against Detroit's Alex Latosinsky on March 24. Mistreanu has won five straight matches and six of this last seven since losing to Latosinsky.
Dawoud Kabli has played the past seven matches at No. 3. Kabli dropped a tough three-setter to Butler's Zach Ervin on Sunday. At No. 3 he is 2-5 this spring. Overall, Kabli is 13-13 overall, 9-9 in dual play and 3-4 against the Horizon League. Kabli was 5-2 at No. 4 before moving up to No. 3.
At No. 4, Max Schmerin has seen the bulk of the action lately. Schmerin played six straight singles at No. 4 before Rodrigo Campos stepped in against Butler and pulled out a three-set win. Schmerin has played at the three, four and five spots while Campos has seen action at the four, five and six slots.
Campos is 10-8 this spring with a 4-3 mark at No. 5 and 5-5 mark at No. 6 to go along with his win on Sunday. Campos was 4-2 in Horizon League play at No. 5. Schmerin is 10-17 this year and posted a 6-12 mark this spring. In HL play he was 2-4 with both wins coming in the No. 4 spot.
At No. 6, Zeeshan Ismail and Felipe Rosa has seen the bulk of the work. Ismail is 17-9 this season, including an 8-7 mark this spring. In Horizon League play he posted a 4-1 mark. Ismail earned wins at No. 6 against Green Bay, Valparaiso and UIC before moving up to pick up a win against Butler at No. 5.
Rosa stepped in to earn big wins against Detroit and Butler. His other Horizon League appearance came at Cleveland State.
Doubles will be an important point for the Penguins. YSU had a combined record of 8-13 in league play. The Penguins earned doubles points in three of their seven Horizon League tilts and in seven of their 19 duals this spring.
In league action, Tariq Ismail and Kabli went 2-5 at No. 1, Mistreanu and Zeeshan Ismail went 3-2 and the other combinations went 3-6.