The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team had three of its four doubles teams competing at the ITA Midwest Regional in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Friday prevail in their opening round matches. One doubles tandem notched a pair of victories and reached the third round of the event.
How It Happened
- Sophomore Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and junior Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) rolled past Cleveland State’s Slade/Terry 8-3 in opening round doubles action.
- Ancona and Kissell kept it rolling with an 8-7(3) win over Chakravarthi/Kovecevic of Illinois in Round 2. The Valpo duo eventually fell in their third match of the day 8-3 at the hands of Ohio State’s Reist/Thomas.
- Senior Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) and freshman Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) captured their opening-round showdown with Michigan State’s Dube/Winkler 8-5.
- Redshirt sophomore Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) and sophomore Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) teamed up to top Northwestern’s Joshi/Volk 8-7(4) in a climactic match.
- Freshman Nick Marino (Northbrook, Ill. / Glenbrook North) and sophomore Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) dropped their first-round match 8-4 to Notre Dame’s Ciamarra/Gamble.
- Gardner/Kenyatte fell to Western Michigan’s Steiner/Opitz 8-4 in Round 2, while Carvajal/Langston were defeated by Michigan’s Schalet/Tishman 8-3 in the second round.
- Gardner came up shy in the third and final round of qualifying, falling 6-2, 6-3 to Notre Dame’s Nathan Griffin. Gardner had collected first and second round wins on Thursday.
Inside the Matches
- Kissell’s doubles performance allowed him to pass the 50-win precipice for his career and crack Valpo’s Top 10. He is now part of a three-way tie for 10th in program history along with Nate Buckert (1998-2002) and Danny Oakes (2012-2016) with 51 doubles victories apiece.
- Ancona is up to 22 career doubles wins and owns a team-high 10 this season.
- Gardner upped his career doubles win total to 59, which ranks sixth in program history. He needs four more to move into the program’s Top 5.
- Carvajal picked up his fourth doubles win of the year, while Kenyatte notched his eighth. Langston’s doubles win was his fifth this season and the 14th of his Crusader career.
The ITA Midwest Regional Championships will continue on Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich. It’s the first two rounds of the singles main draw, plus the doubles main draw quarterfinals. Valpo’s Chad Kissell will compete in the main singles draw. Links to live video and results are available on ValpoAthletics.com.