Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) rallied from a set down to post a victory in the deciding point on Sunday morning as Valparaiso wrapped up the 2008 spring season with a 4-3 victory over Wright State in the fifth place match of the Horizon League Championships.
The win also helped Valpo avenge a 4-3 regular season loss to the Raiders.
Lau defeated First Team All-Horizon League pick Tony Teufel at number one singles. After dropping the opening set 6-1, Lau rallied to win the second set in a tie-breaker 7-6 (2) before winning the third set 6-4. For the junior, it was his team-leading 12th victory of the year, and moved him over .500 for his career at 43-42.
Valpo jumped out to an early lead after doubles winning at the second and third spots. Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) topped Brad Krick and Pip Rehg 8-1 at number three doubles while Lau and Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) cruised past Teufel and Jan Alafriz 8-2 at the second spot. Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) and Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) led Nick Camileri and Landon Neuman 5-4 when the match was stopped because the point was determined.
“Winning the doubles point was big for us because we did not win it the first time we played them,” Valpo head coach Jim Daugherty said.
The Crusaders took a 2-0 lead as Litscher won at fourth singles when Rehg retired in the second set. Litscher was leading 6-0, 2-0 at the time. Neuman cut the Wright State (2-21) deficit in half with a 6-4, 6-0 win at third singles against Wagner but Brunette put the Brown and Gold within a point of victory with his 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Stewart at the fifth spot.
The Raiders fought back, as Camileri downed Shideler 6-2, 7-6 (7) at number two and Alafriz defeated Stump 6-1, 6-2 at the sixth spot to tie the match at three, setting the stage for Lau’s comeback.
“Our guys stepped up and played really well today,” Daugherty added. “It is a great way to cap off the season with two straight wins.”
Valparaiso finishes the season 7-13 overall, and placing fifth in the Horizon League Championships. Shideler, Wagner, and Brunette all wrapped up their careers as seniors for the Crusaders on Sunday.