The Youngstown State men's tennis team is the No. 2 seed at the Horizon League Championships which begin on Friday at the Schwartz Tennis Center. The Penguins have a bye to the semifinals and will be in action on Saturday at noon.
YSU (11-7) will play third-seeded UIC (6-14) in its semifinal match. The Penguins defeated the Flames 4-3 last Friday. Cleveland State is the top seed in the tournament. With the bye, the Penguins have appeared in the semifinals three consecutive years. In their previous two trips, the Guins won a quarterfinal match to reach the semis. This is the first time they received the bye to the semifinals as one of the top two seeds.
The Penguins have been strong at winning the doubles point this season. YSU won the doubles point in five of the six conference contests. The lone time the Guins dropped the doubles point came in the final match of the regular season vs. IUPUI.
As a team, YSU was 23-13 in Horizon League singles matches and 12-3 in doubles contests.
At No. 1 singles, Danylo Veremeichuk was a first-team all-conference selection for the second straight season. In league matches he was 5-1 with his only defeat coming in three sets against Cleveland State. At No. 2, Vasilis Vardakis was a second-team all-league selection for the first time in his career. In league matches, he was 4-1 with his lone default coming via injury default.
At No. 3 singles, Joao Garretto went 5-1 during the conference season. Five of his six matches came at the No. 3 spot. At No. 4 singles, senior Luke Purser has been a mainstay in the lineup. Senior Yossi Dahan posted a 3-3 record and at No. 6, Erik Gran went 5-1.
In doubles, Veremeichuk and Garretto went 4-1 in completed HL doubles contests and 10-7 overall in dual matches at No. 1. At No. 2, Vardakis and Purser were 3-1 in conference play and 7-6 in dual play. And at No. 3, Pol Virgili Blanco and Dahan went 5-1 in conference play and 7-6 overall.
YSU has an experienced postseason roster. Four of the six members of this year's squad - Dahan, Veremeichuk, Vardakis and Garretto were all part of the lineup. Veremeichuk, Garretto, Dahan and Purser were all part of the Guins' 2017 semifinal squad. Dahan is the most veteran of the group having played at No. 2 singles in the 2016 championships.
For news and updates throughout the tournament, follow the Youngstown State men's tennis program on Twitter @YSUMensTennis