Valparaiso posted a 14-11 record overall, including a sweep of all three doubles matches on Friday as the Crusaders completed day one of the Valpo Fall Invitational held at the Valpo Tennis Complex.
“Our goal today was to finish above .500 and we did that,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. The match tie-breaks in singles still seem to elude us though, and we need to work on winning those.”
The Crusaders started the day on a positive note, sweeping all three doubles contests against UIC. Jose Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil/CEAD H.S.) and Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) started strong with a convincing 8-0 victory over the Flames’ Nate Kirk and Alan Reifer. Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) added an 8-6 victory over Rahul Kamath and Gautham Oroskar in the middle match while Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley H.S.) and Carlton Lyons (South Bend, Ind./Clay H.S.) pulled out a hard fought 9-7 win against Camilo Giraldo and Alex Marginean.
“We were down in two of our doubles matches and came back to win them both,” Daugherty added. “Our doubles is definitely improving.”
Singles play saw a mixture of action for the Crusaders against both UIC and Lewis.
Gaspar posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Giraldo of UIC before downing Kirk 6-3 in the first set and then having his Flame opponent retire. Lyons added a pair of victories as well for the Brown and Gold. He defeated Marginean 6-2, 6-2 in his first match before downing Lewis’ Matt Heidenfelder 6-1, 6-0 in his second contest. Lyons finally was defeated by Kamath of UIC 6-3, 6-2 in his third singles contest of the day.
Siddarth Mehta (South Bend, Ind./Clay H.S.) also was a double winner for Valpo. He beat Brandon Tilton of Lewis 6-1, 6-0 to start the day before downing Marginean 6-1, 6-1 in match two of the day. Honert, a freshman, also had the same success, defeating Lorenz Pestinger of Lewis 6-1, 6-4 to begin singles. He then topped Oroskar of UIC 6-0, 7-5 in the final contest.
Stump also notched a victory over Lewis’ Tilton, winning 6-2, 6-1. He added a 6-1, 6-0 win against Selwyn Hansana in his third match of the day after falling 6-4, 6-0 to Kamath to begin his day. DeHerrera added Valpo’s final win of the day, a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Giraldo of UIC his final contest on day one. He fell 6-2, 6-3 to Uno Lapimaa of Lewis in round one.
Baum suffered three tight defeats on his first day. After falling 6-4, 6-4 to Kirk of UIC in the first match, he dropped a 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 contest against Lapimaa of Lewis. He concluded with a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 10-4 setback against Tonis Irdoja of Lewis.
Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) dropped a 6-2, 2-6, 10-6 match against Oroskar to begin his day and also lost 7-6 (4), 5-7, 10-4 to Reifer, suffering third set tie-breaks in both. Michael Woodson (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscoft H.S.) fell to Reifer 6-1, 7-5 and 6-3, 6-4 to Pestinger of Lewis. His final match was a 6-3, 6-3 defeat to Jesse Hardacre.
Valparaiso will return to the courts on Saturday morning for day two of the event. Doubles action begins at 9 a.m. with singles starting at 10 a.m.