Valparaiso's men's tennis team saw a great deal of success in a modified team format over the weekend at the Bradley Invitational held in Peoria, Ill.
The tournament saw each school place teams of three in match play over two flights of singles and one of doubles. The team winning two out of three matches advanced.
The Crusaders claimed the tournament title in the B Flight after posting three straight 2-1 victories. In the opening round against Dayton, Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) was a 4-6, 7-6, 10-8 winner while Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) notched a 6-3, 6-4 triumph.
In the semifinals against Wisconsin-Green Bay, Brunette tallied a 7-5, 1-6, 10-6 win while Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./Saint Charles North H.S.) was a 6-4, 6-1 victor. The title match saw the Brown and Gold down Illinois-Chicago 2-1 behind a 7-6 (5), 6-0 win by Venegas and a 6-2, 6-2 victory by Wagner.
Valpo's team in the A Flight advanced to the finals before falling to Dayton 2-1 in the title match. Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) and Shabbi Kahn (Karachi, Pakistan/Oasys H.S.) helped the Crusaders defeat Bradley in the opening round. Kooyers posted a 4-6, 6-2, 10-5 win while Kahn was a 7-6, 6-7, 10-6 victor. In the semifinals against Illinois-Chicago, the Brown and Gold recorded a 3-0 sweep. Kooyers was a 6-3, 3-6, 10-3 winner while Khan notched a 7-6, 6-4 triumph. Ben Dunham-Freer (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands H.S.) completed the sweep with a 6-4, 7-6 win. The championship match saw just Dunham-Freer record a win, 6-3, 6-4.
In doubles, Valpo finished in fourth place. The Crusaders were 3-0 winners in the opening round against a combined team. Dunham-Freer and Kahn were 8-3 victors while Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) and Brunette posted a 8-5 win. Kooyers and Blain Keller (Muncie, Ind./Delta H.S.) posted an 8-1 win to complete the sweep.
In the second round, Dunham-Freer and Kahn was the only team to win in Valpo's 2-1 loss to Dayton, doing so by an 8-5 margin. The same tandem notched the lone win, 8-5, in the third place match against Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Valparaiso will return to action on Friday when the Crusaders host Wisconsin-Green Bay at Brown Courts beginning at 3 p.m.