Valparaiso remained perfect at the newly opened Valparaiso University Tennis Complex while remaining in the hunt for a Mid-Continent Conference title as the Crusaders defeated Centenary 6-1 on Thursday morning.
With the win, Valpo improves to .500 (9-9) overall on the season while moving to 3-1 in the Mid-Con. Centenary falls to 2-10, 0-3. The Crusaders are also a perfect 4-0 at the new on campus outdoor facility which opened at the end of March.
Valpo jumped in front early with a win in doubles action. Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) and Dave Bukowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect H.S.) posted an 8-5 win at second doubles against Russ Patrick and Arthur Okura to get things going. Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) and Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) then sewed up the point with an 8-4 triumph against Dylan Dyer and Matt Shoptaugh at the top of the lineup. The third doubles match between Valpo's duo of Alex Lau (Bloominton, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) and Centenary's Josh Pinto and Seva Kostelanetz was suspended tied at 6-6 because the point had been determined.
In singles the Crusaders won the first five singles contests to clinch the match. Kooyers started things off with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Pinto at number one while Wagner followed at the third spot with a win over Dyer by the same score. Venegas clinched the win at second singles with a 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Patrick and moments later Lau topped Kostelanetz 6-2, 6-0 at this sixth spot.
Shideler then battled back from a first set defeat to post a win at fourth singles when Okura retired in the third set. Shideler led 1-6, 6-4, 3-0. The Gents earned their lone win at fifth singles as Shoptaugh defeated Bukowski in a tie-break for the third set 7-5, 5-7, 10-6.
Valparaiso will return to action at the Valparaiso University Tennis Complex on Friday afternoon as the Crusaders host UMKC in conference action. First serve is set for 1 p.m.