The third-seed Youngstown State men's tennis team will take on sixth-seed Wright State in the opening round of the Horizon League Championships on Friday at 3 p.m. at the Schwartz Tennis Center at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
The winner of the match moves on to face second-seed Cleveland State on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the semifinals. Last year, the Penguins reached the semifinals of the league championships for the first time in school history before falling to eventual champion Valparaiso, 4-3.
The Penguins (11-10 overall and 5-2 in the Horizon League) enter the conference championships on a season-high four-match winning streak. After dropping back-to-back matches to Detroit Mercy and Cleveland State, YSU ended the year with wins against Northern Kentucky, the Raiders, UIC and IUPUI. The Guins tied for third in the conference standings with Green Bay, but earned the third seed by beating the Phoenix 4-3.
Earlier this month the Guins defeated Wright State (13-11, 2-5) by a score of 5-2 at the Boardman Tennis Center. YSU won the doubles point and had wins at No. 2, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 singles.
The doubles point has been a key to the Penguins' league success. YSU was 5-0 in the matches where it won the doubles point, including a pair of 4-3 wins. Yossi Dahan and Danylo Veremeichuk teamed up to go 5-2 while Vasilis Vardakis and Joao Garretto were 4-1. Dahan and Veremeichuk have won their last four doubles contests.
In singles, Dahan went a team-best 6-1 in Horizon League matches. Garretto and Vardakis had four wins each while Bassem El Mekawi had three. Veremeichuk has a team-best 21 victories this season while Matthew Kritzinger has 18. Dahan and Garretto each have 17 singles wins this season. In dual matches, Vardakis owns a team-best 12 victories.
For news and updates throughout the tournament, follow the Youngstown State men's tennis program on Twitter @YSUMensTennis