The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team sustained its Summit League success on Wednesday night by edging Omaha 4-3 at Miracle Hill Tennis Center in Omaha, Neb. The lower portion of the Valpo lineup came through in a big way, as wins at No. 2 and 3 doubles and No. 4, 5 and 6 singles carried the Crusaders to the narrow triumph.
How It Happened
- Omaha gained the early edge in the battle for the doubles point as the Mavericks (8-15, 0-3) rolled to a 6-1 win in the No. 1 doubles match. Razvan Grigorescu and Nathan Reekie downed Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) 6-1.
- However, Valpo’s No. 2 doubles tandem of Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) and Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) eked out a 6-4 victory over Matt Dunn and Luke Moorehead.
- At that juncture, the doubles point hinged on the No. 3 showdown between Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) and Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) and Abdoul Ouattara and Alex Woodward. A tightly-contested match needed a tiebreak to determine a victor, but the visitors from Valpo secured the 7-6(2) win to gain a doubles point that proved pivotal.
- Valpo’s top three singles players all dropped their matches, including three-set affairs at No. 1 and No. 3.
- However, the bottom of the lineup came through as Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]), Gardner and Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) were winners at No. 4, 5 and 6, respectively.
- All three Valpo singles wins came in straight sets. Garnder beat Matt Dunn 6-4, 6-4 and Langston was victorious 6-4, 7-5 over Marko Minic.
- The clinching win occurred at No. 4, where Carvajal nipped Woodward 6-2, 7-6(3).
Inside The Match
- Langston has won five straight singles matches and has his mark up to 11-9 this season. He owns the longest winning streak on the team.
- Carvajal has won all four Summit League matches this year, the lone Crusader at 4-0 in conference singles action. He stands at 16-8 overall.
- Kissell, the reigning Summit League Player of the Week, picked up his 58th doubles win as a Crusader. That number ranks sixth in program history.
- Gardner’s singles win was the 71st of his career, which sits in fifth place in program history.
- Valpo (6-10, 3-1) garnered its first 4-3 win of the 2017-18 campaign. Two of Valpo’s four Summit League matches have been decided by the slimmest of margins, with Valpo falling 4-3 to Denver in the league opener earlier this season. Valpo won 4-3 on four occasions a year ago, including twice in the Horizon League Tournament.
The Crusaders will return home to host South Dakota State on Friday at 2 p.m. at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith. That will mark the penultimate Summit League match of the regular season for the Crusaders.