The Valparaiso men's tennis team picked up its first Mid-Continent Conference victory of the season on Saturday morning, defeating Western Illinois 5-2 in Kansas City, Mo.
The Crusaders opened by winning the doubles point, taking two out of the three matches. Ben Dunham-Freer (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands H.S.) and Jeff Vrabel (Allen Park, Mich./St. Francis Cabrini H.S.) recorded an 8-3 victory at the top spot, while Tyler Neemann (Manassas, Va./Stonewall Jackson H.S.) and Nathan Gordon (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) posted the same score at third doubles.
Valpo (3-10, 1-1 Mid-Con) then won four of the six singles matches from the Westerwinds (0-5, 0-3) to clinch the match. Vrabel recorded a 6-1, 6-1 victory at second singles and the Crusaders were strong from fourth on down for the win. Neemann was a 6-2, 6-3 victor at the fourth spot, while Gordon posted a 6-4, 6-2 win at fifth singles. Mike Menghini (Iron Mountain, Mich./Iron Mountain H.S.) cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 win at the sixth spot.
The Crusaders will return to action on Tuesday afternoon with a home match against Butler beginning at 3 p.m. at Brown Courts.