The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team bounced back in a big way after having its six-match winning streak snapped last weekend. Valpo played a complete match in both singles and doubles to cruise to a 7-0 victory over Omaha at the Valpo Tennis Complex on Saturday. The match was pivotal in skyrocketing Valpo’s chances of qualifying for the Summit League Tournament going into the final week of the regular season.
How It Happened
- Valpo (13-4, 3-2) set the tone on the doubles courts, winning at No. 1 and No. 3. The No. 1 duo of Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) was the first to finish with a 6-3 victory over David Lawley and Nathan Reekie.
- Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) and Chad Kissell (Labrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) played together for just the second time this season and the first since Jan. 25 in the dual match opener vs. Cardinal Stritch. They paired up at No. 3 doubles and notched a 6-3 win over Hugo Piles Ballester and Ethan Henry.
- The No. 2 doubles match went unfinished as Valpo had already nailed down the doubles point over Omaha (8-13, 1-3).
- Kissell had a strong showing, rolling to a 6-4, 6-0 win over Reekie at No. 3 in the first singles match to finish. The next match to reach its completion came at No. 5, where Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) corralled a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Matt Dunn.
- Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) dropped a close first set to Lawley 6-7(5-7), but bounced back to take the remaining sets 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4 singles. In similar fashion, Kenyatte dug himself out of a hole after losing the first set of his No. 2 singles match 4-6 to Piles Ballester, but he bounced back for 6-2, 6-2 victories to take the match.
- The theme of Valpo players recovering from opening set defeats held true at No. 6, where Brozovich earned a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Henry. At No. 1 singles, Ancona utilized a third-set tiebreak to beat Abdoul Ouattara 7-5, 6-7 (9-11), 1-0 (10-3).
Inside the Match
- Ancona earned his team-leading 22nd singles victory of the season, in the process nailing down his 60th career triumph. Only a junior, Ancona ranks ninth in program history in career singles wins.
- Ancona also hit a doubles milestone, enjoying his 50th career doubles victory.
- Kenyatte rapped off 13th consecutive singles win, improved to 20-5 and upped his sparkling dual match record to 15-1. In addition, Kenyatte already owns 40 singles wins as only a sophomore as this secures his second straight 20-win campaign.
- Kissell is up to 74 singles wins and 70 doubles victories for his career. With his singles win on Saturday, he moved into a tie for fifth in program history with Garrett Gardner (2014-2018). The doubles victory allowed Kissell take over sole possession of fourth in the history of Valpo men’s tennis, breaking a tie with Kyle Dunn (2013-2017).
- Carvajal and Pecyna both picked up their 18th wins of the season, while Brozovich grabbed his ninth in 14 matches.
Valpo will round out the regular season on Saturday, April 20 at 2 p.m. against Summit League foe North Dakota. Weather permitting, the match is slated to take place outdoors at the Valpo Tennis Complex. It’s Senior Day as head coach Jim Daugherty will recognize senior Chad Kissell for his commendable four-year career prior to the match.