The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team had eight individuals compete in the qualifying singles draw at the ITA Midwest Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Thursday. Five Valpo players prevailed in the first round of qualifying. Senior Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) won both of his matches on Thursday, advancing to Friday’s third round of the qualifying draw.
How It Happened
- Gardner was a winner in his first match of the day, coming from a set down to beat Western Michigan’s Jannik Opitz 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Gardner advanced to the third round of qualifying with a 7-5, 6-2 triumph over Toledo’s Reid Teatsorth in Round 2.
- Freshman Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) bounced back after dropping the first set 6-4 in the opening round of singles qualifying to top Michigan State’s Josh Mukherjee 6-0, 7-5 in Sets 2 and 3 to advance to the second round.
- Sophomore Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) began the day by topping Ohio State’s Jacob Wareti in three sets 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
- Freshman Nick Marino (Northbrook, Ill. / Glenbrook North) also collected a victory in the opening round of qualifying, corralling a straight set 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Youngstown State’s Matt Kritzinger.
- Redshirt sophomore Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) grabbed an opening round win over Youngstown State’s Yossi Dahan 6-0, 6-2. Carvajal succumbed to Marquette's Luis Heredia 6-3, 6-1 in the second round.
- Kenyatte dropped a second-round qualifying draw match to Toledo’s Luka Vitosevic, 6-2, 6-3.
- Ancona lost his second match 6-2, 6-3 to Detroit Mercy’s Luka Soskic.
- Marino dropped a 6-1, 6-3 decision to Michigan State’s Michael Dube in Round 2.
- Sophomore Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) lost his opening round match to Northern Illinois’ Georg Lundkvist 7-5, 7-6(5).
- Sophomore Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) fell to Cleveland State's Luke Phillips 6-3, 6-4.
- Sophomore Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) was on the wrong end of a 6-4, 6-1 match against DePaul’s Fran Tonejc.
Inside the Matches
- Gardner’s pair of wins on Thursday boosts his career total to 65, which is the most among active Crusaders and seventh in program history.
- Marino’s win allowed him to up his season win total to six.
- Ancona’s victory boosted his career total to 31 singles victories and his season total to eight wins.
- Carvajal increased his season total to seven wins, while Kenyatte collected season victory No. 9.
The ITA Midwest Regional Championships will continue on Friday with the third round of singles qualifying and the first round of doubles main draw in Ann Arbor, Mich. Four Valpo doubles tandems will be in action. In addition, Gardner will take the court opposite Notre Dame’s Nathan Griffin in the third round of singles qualifying.