Valparaiso had to move indoors due to rain on Saturday afternoon, and the men’s tennis team suffered a 7-0 setback against Cleveland State at the South Bend Tennis Club in Mishawaka, Ind.
“We played one of the best Cleveland State teams they have ever had,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “We came out with a lot of energy and confidence and played well from the beginning.”
Cleveland State (12-6, 3-0 Horizon) jumped on top though sweeping the doubles point, but the Crusaders kept the matches close. Ryan Hamning and Phil Orno defeated Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) and Arne Deihle (Reutlingen, Germany/Johannes Kepler H.S.) 8-3 at number one doubles while Rob Fox and John Haley squeaked out a 9-8 (5) win against Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) and Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) in a tie-break at number two. Yannick Goossens and Aris Spirtos topped Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) and Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) 8-6 at the third spot.
In singles play, Orno was a 6-1, 6-2 winner against Whitmer at the top of the order while Goossens downed Stump 6-4, 7-5 at number two. Hamning was a 6-4, 6-4 victor against Baum at the third spot and Fox beat Litscher 6-0, 6-1 at fourth singles. Haley defeated DeHerrera 6-4, 6-3 at five while Jay Jones was a 6-1, 6-3 victor against Siddarth Mehta (South Bend, Ind./Clay H.S.) to round out the lineup.
"If we can continue to come out and play like we did today, we will continue to improve," Daugherty concluded.
Valparaiso (3-11, 1-3) will continue its current homestand on Friday afternoon, hosting UIC at the Valpo Tennis Complex. First serve is set for 3 p.m.