Valparaiso batted in every match with 49th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, with freshman Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley H.S.) earning a singles victory, but the Spartans emerged with a 6-1 victory over the Crusaders at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility in East Lansing, Mich.
“Give Eric credit today,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “He played two great sets against a very good team. I was happy that we were able to get at least one good set out of everyone today.”
Honert was a 7-5, 6-4 victor over Christian Roehmer at the fifth spot to earn his eighth singles win of the season, tying for the team lead.
Michigan State (12-1) won the other five singles contests in straight sets, but had to battle. Ronnie Hulewicz downed Jose Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil/CEAD H.S.) 6-4, 6-1 at the top of the lineup while John Stratton topped Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) 6-3, 6-4 at number two. Austin Brooks was a 6-0, 6-3 victor over Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) at third singles while Mat Nelson topped Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) 6-1, 6-3 at the fourth spot. Ryan Richmond defeated Michael Woodson (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft H.S.) 6-2, 7-5 at the bottom of the order.
The Spartans opened the match winning all three doubles contests. Brooks and Aaron Pfister downed Gaspar and Baum 8-2 at one doubles while Hulewicz and Stratton won by the same score at the second spot against Whitmer and Honert. Richmond and Jason Norville were 8-3 winners against DeHerrera and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) at the bottom of the order.
Valparaiso (2-5) will return to the courts Friday, March 4, to begin its spring break trip in Orlando, Fla. The Crusaders will face Presbyterian at 2 p.m. CST.