Valparaiso played six tie-breakers on Saturday afternoon, and had four singles matches go three sets, but came out on the short end of a 5-2 decision to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in Green Bay, Wis.
The opening doubles point came down to a pair of tie-break matches. After Green Bay’s Mark Goldin and Tim Prudlow downed Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) and Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) 8-6, second and third doubles were both decided by 9-8 scores in tie-breaks. The Phoenix’s Matt Clegg and Matt Keesey won at the second spot against Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) 8-6 in the tie-break to earn the point. The Crusaders’ Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) downed Eric Plaushines and Brian Zaron in the tie-break 7-4 at the third spot.
Green Bay (9-9, 1-2 Horizon League) extended its lead to 3-0 as Clegg topped Wagner 6-2, 6-1 at third singles and Keesey defeated Brunette at the fifth spot 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, in the first of four three-set matches. The Phoenix clinched the victory with Plaushines’ 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory over Stump at the sixth spot.
The Crusaders got on the scoreboard as Litscher defeated Zaron 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (3) at fourth singles while Lau was a 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 victor at the top spot against Prudlow. Shideler dropped a tough 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 decision to Goldin at number two singles.
Valparaiso (3-9, 1-2) will return to action on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders head to Chicago, Ill. for another conference contest against UIC. First serve against the Flames is set for 3 p.m.