The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team continued its string of Summit League “firsts” on Friday morning at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith. This time, the Crusaders picked up their first clean sweep of a Summit League opponent, dispatching Oral Roberts 7-0 by winning on all six singles courts and both doubles courts that finished.
How It Happened
- Valpo (5-10, 2-1) grabbed the doubles point with Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) and Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) downing Marcello Moreira and Andrew Guymon 6-2 at No. 2 and Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) defeating Jan Pehnec and Kenneth Boykin 6-4 at No. 1.
- The third doubles match between Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) and Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) of Valpo and Eddy Leardini and Alvaro Santamaria of Oral Roberts (7-9, 1-2) went unfinished with Valpo leading 5-4.
- Kissell earned a convincing win over Boykin at No. 1 singles in Set 1, prevailing 6-0 before holding on to take the second set 7-5. Gardner finished next, beating Leardini 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 to make it 3-0 in favor of the Crusaders in the team scoring.
- The match-clincher came at No. 6 with Langston gaining a 6-0, 6-1 win over Scott Hjelm. The Crusaders continued to dominate on the remaining courts, as Ancona defeated Santamaria 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3, while Carvajal took his match from Moreira 6-1, 7-5 at No. 4.
- The only match that needed three sets to decide a victor was at No. 2, where Kenyatte picked up a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Pehnec.
Inside The Match
- Langston has won four straight singles matches and has his mark up to 10-9 this season. He owns the longest winning streak on the team.
- Carvajal has won all three Summit League matches this year, the lone Crusader at 3-0 in conference singles action. He stands at 15-8 overall.
- Kissell’s doubles win allowed him to move into sole possession of seventh in program history with 57 career victories. He snapped a tie with Lucas Waak (2012-2016), who now sits in eighth.
- Gardner gained his 67th career doubles win, a total that ranks fifth in program history. He needs two more to move into a tie with Kyle Dunn (2013-2017) for fourth.
- Gardner’s singles win was the 70th of his career, bumping past Eric Honert (2010-2014) and Michael Savaglio (2012-2016) and into sole possession of fifth in program history.
- Kissell’s singles win was the 62nd of his career, which ranks seventh in program history.
- Ancona, the reigning Summit League Player of the Week, upped his singles mark to 13-12 on the season, while Kenyatte notched his team-leading 18th victory.
The Crusaders will play their first road Summit League match on Wednesday, April 4 in Omaha, Neb. The match against the Mavericks is slated to begin at 7 p.m. CT.