Valparaiso and Dayton played three three-set singles matches as well as a close doubles point, but in the end the Flyers defeated the Crusaders 5-2 on Wednesday afternoon in Griffith, Ind.
Dayton (7-15) struck first in a highly competitive doubles point. Bryce Warnock and Austin Wiegand won the first match 8-6 at third doubles against Phidias Fortune (San Antonio, Texas/Madison H.S.) and Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Shipshewana H.S.). A tie-break then decided number two doubles. Matt Sherman and Michael Koscielski downed Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) 9-8 (3). First doubles was stopped when the doubles point was decided with Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) leading Michael Rhoana and David Peyton 8-7.
The Crusaders tied the match quickly in singles play as Whitmer took control of his fifth singles match in the second set on his way to a 6-4, 6-1 against Koscielski. The Flyers responded with a straight sets victory at the third spot, as Warnock topped DeHerrera 6-2, 6-4. Lau retied the match at two for Valpo with a win at the top of the lineup, needing a tie-break in the second set to win in straight sets, 6-3, 7-6 (4).
The final three deciding matches all went three sets. Dayton took the lead for good at sixth singles as Wiegand rallied after dropping the opening set to defeat Fortune 5-7, 6-4, 6-0. The Flyers clinched the match at number four singles as Peyton also came back from a set down to defeat Stump 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-1. The final match of the day saw Litscher rally from a set down against Warnock to force a third set, before falling 7-5, 2-6, 7-5.
“Every player gave all they had today so I feel for them,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “It was a close competitive match throughout the lineup.”
Valparaiso (3-8) will continue its five-match homestand on Wednesday afternoon as the Crusaders return to Horizon League action, hosting UIC. First serve is set for 3 p.m. at the Valpo Tennis Complex.