In the month of March, “All I Do is Win” has become the song that best describes the play of the Valparaiso University men’s tennis team. Those lyrics continued to ring true on Saturday, as Valpo topped instate rival Butler 4-3 in a competitive showdown between two quality teams at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith.
How It Happened
- Valpo found itself in an early 1-0 hole after Butler took the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3. The doubles victory for Valpo came at the No. 1 position, where Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) and Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) put together a 6-3 triumph over Mason Dragos and Ryan Roegner.
- Kenyatte cruised to a 6-1, 7-5 victory at No. 3 singles against Aviv Ben Shabat, but the Bulldogs (14-5) quickly put Valpo (11-3) in a tough spot by winning at No. 4 and No. 5.
- Butler’s Adrian Mag recorded a straight-set triumph over Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) at No. 5 by set scores of 6-3, 6-0, while Spencer Lang did the same with a 6-4, 6-4 win at No. 4 over Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled).
- Those wins allowed Butler to take a 3-1 edge in the team score. Valpo needed to win all three of the remaining matches in order to capture the victory.
- All three of those matches were filled with suspense, starting at No. 1, where Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) recovered from losing 0-6 in Set 1 to knock off Dragos 7-6(3), 6-4 in the remaining sets.
- Another climactic win came at No. 5, where Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) topped Ryan Roegner 6-4, 7-6(4).
- The match hinged on the No. 2 showdown between Ancona and Thomas Brennan. The Valpo junior earned a hard-fought 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 victory to secure the team triumph.
Inside the Match
- Ancona reached the 20-win milestone in singles for the season in just his 24th match of the year.
- Kenyatte stayed red hot as he has earned wins in 12 of his 13 singles matches during the spring campaign.
- Carvajal upped his record to 12-2 as he remained a force to be reckoned with in the bottom half of Valpo’s singles lineup.
- The No. 1 doubles team of Ancona and Kenyatte improved to 17-5.
Valpo will return to league action on Saturday, March 30 at Illinois State for a Summit League match against the Redbirds that begins at 1 p.m.