Junior Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and sophomore Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) garnered three-set wins in singles play, but the Valparaiso University men’s tennis team dropped Sunday’s Summit League opener 5-2 to host Denver in Colorado. Denver (5-2, 1-0) and Valpo (4-2, 0-1) were picked to finish second and third respectively in the league’s preseason poll.
How It Happened
- The longest match of the day came at No. 2 singles, where Ancona and Matt Summers engaged in a tight showdown. After dropping the first set 4-6, Ancona bounced back to win each of the next two sets on close tiebreakers – 7-6(6) and 7-6(5).
- Shortly before Ancona’s match came to a close, Kenyatte had secured Valpo’s first victory of the afternoon. He split the first two sets with Pedro F. Del Valle at third singles 6-2, 2-6 before edging his way to a 7-6(6) win in the decisive third set.
- Another match went to three sets as Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) was nipped by Ignatius Castelino 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 at No. 5. The sixth singles match between Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic] and Daniel Krulig saw Krulig take two nail-biting sets, 7-5, 7-6(6).
- Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) succumbed to Mattia Ros 7-6(3), 6-3 at No. 1, while Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) fell 6-4, 6-2 at No. 4 against James Davis.
- The Pioneers won at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, while second doubles went unfinished.
Inside the Match
- Ancona now owns sole possession of the team lead with 12 singles wins this season. He upped his overall mark to 12-4 and improved to 4-2 in dual play.
- Kenyatte has captured victories in four of his five singles matches this spring and increased his season win total to nine.
- Kenyatte has owned a flair for the dramatic this spring, as three of his four victories have gone to a third set. Meanwhile, Ancona grabbed his first three-set victory since Sept. 21.
Valpo will continue conference action on Friday night in Tulsa, Okla. against Oral Roberts. The match is slated to get underway at 4 p.m. CT.