Valparaiso won a doubles match and forced three sets in four singles contests, but was unable to get on the scoreboard on Sunday afternoon as the Crusaders fell 7-0 to Bradley at the South Bend Racquet Club in Mishawauka, Ind.
“It is very frustrating to play so many close matches, yet come up empty,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “We know we’re not far off the mark. We need to improve, but we’re getting close to getting over the hump.”
Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) registered their team-leading fourth doubles triumph of the season at the third spot, downing Kevin Keiner and Devon Manning 8-7 (2).
Bradley (5-2) won the opening point though with victories at the top two spots. Valpo’s Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley H.S.) and Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) forced a tie-break at the second spot against Arthur Romane and Juan Cuadrado but fell 9-8 (3). Jose Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil/CEAD H.S.) and Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) dropped an 8-5 matchh against Ashton Kalhorn and Eric Nguyen.
In singles action, the middle four spots in the lineup all went three sets, including three contests in which the Brown and Gold won opening sets. Baum fell to Cuadrado 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 at the second spot in the lineup while DeHerrera lost 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 against Kalhorn at number three. Whitmer dropped a 6-7 (8), 6-2, 6-1 match versus Romane at number four singles while Honert suffered a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 setback against Justin Abrams at number five singles.
At first singles, Nguyen topped Gaspar 6-3, 6-3 while Stump fell to Keiner 6-3, 6-4 at sixth singles to round out the lineup.
Valparaiso (0-3) will return to the courts on Friday morning, hosting Toledo. First serve is set for 10 a.m. at the Northwest Athletic Club in Michigan City.