Valparaiso’s men’s tennis team posted a combined 19-7 record on the opening day of the Dayton/Wright State Invitational held in Dayton, Ohio. The Crusaders have six players that have advanced to the semifinals in singles action while a team has advanced to the championship match in the B flight of doubles.
Every Crusader won at least one singles and one doubles contest on the afternoon as the Crusaders were impressive from the start.
In doubles action, the team of Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley H.S.) and Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) have advanced to Sunday’s championship match in the B flight. The duo won a pair of matches against teams from Wittenberg, both by the score of 8-5. In the same flight, Siddarth Mehta (South Bend, Ind./Clay H.S.) and Michael Woodson (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft H.S.) advanced to the semifinals with a 9-8 (4) win over Wright State in the opening round. They fell 8-4 in the semifinals though to the Youngstown State team that Honert and Whitmer will face in tomorrow’s final.
The A flight of doubles saw both of Valpo’s teams advance to the semifinals before falling. Jose Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil/CEAD H.S.) and Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) defeated a duo from Youngstown State 8-4 in the opening round before falling to Wright State 8-5 in the semis. Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) were 8-6 victors over Dayon in match one before falling 9-8 (8) in a tie-break to Wright State in the semifinals.
Carlton Lyons (South Bend, Ind./Clay H.S.) got in on the victory parade as well in doubles, teaming with Rodrigo Campos of Youngstown State in the C flight. The duo defeated Wittenberg 8-5 in their first match before dropping an 8-3 decision to Dayton in the championship.
Valpo’s momentum continued into singles play, with a pair of Crusaders advancing to the semifinals in the A flight. Baum posted a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Andrew Hanley of Dayton to start the day, and then added a 4-6, 6-2, 10-7 win in the quarterfinals against Felipe Rosa of Youngstown State. Joining Baum in the semifinals is Gaspar, who defeated Stephane Antwi of Wittenberg 6-2, 6-1 in round one and topped Jan Alafriz of Wright State 6-7 (4), 6-3, 10-3 in the quarterfinals. DeHerrera fell in his first match before rebounding with a win over Bobby Fisher of Wittenberg 6-1, 6-0 in the back draw of the same flight.
The B singles flight Honert and Whitmer both advanced to the semifinals as well. Honert was a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Andrew Nixon of Dayton in the first round and downed Sam Pecyna of Dayton 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Whitmer topped Joseph Marra of Wittenberg 6-0, 6-2 in his first match and defeated Evan Neuman of Wright State 5-7, 6-1, 10-7 in the quarterfinals. Woodson and Stump both fell in their first round match before rebounding with wins in the back draw. Woodson defeated Sam Wilke of Wittenberg 6-4, 6-1 while Stump cruised past Jonathan Mueller of Wittenberg 6-1, 6-1.
Mehta has advanced to Sunday’s championship in the C draw. He disposed of Philip Dresden of Dayton 6-2, 6-0 before downing Art Keighley of Wright State 6-1, 6-1. Lyons won his first match against Josh Fridley of Wittenberg 6-0, 6-0 but fell in the semifinals 6-3, 6-1 to Zeeshan Ismail of Youngstown State.
Valparaiso will look to capture the various flight championships on Sunday as the action begins at 8 a.m. CDT.