The Valparaiso men's tennis team dropped its sixth straight match of the spring on Saturday evening as the Crusaders fell by a score of 6-1 to Illinois-Chicago in the Windy City.
The Flames won two out of three competitive matches in doubles to take the first point of the match. Ivan Kovalev and Andy Lockhart were 8-2 victors over Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) and Dave Bukowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect H.S.) at the top of the lineup while Valpo's Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) and Blain Keller (Muncie, Ind./Delta H.S.) answered with an 8-6 triumph over Paul Glendenning and Danai Samuriwo. UIC won the deciding match 8-7 (4) as Eric Fey and Adriano Liccardo downed Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) and Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.).
In singles play, Illinois-Chicago (3-4) took five of the six matches. Kovalev downed Kooyers 6-4, 7-6 (2) at the top while Liccardo was a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Venegas at number two. Valpo's Wagner posted a 7-6 (1), 6-1 win over Glendenning at third singles for the lone Crusader point. Bukowski went three sets with Lockhart before falling 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 while Lau fell 6-2, 6-3 to Fey at the fifth spot. At the bottom of the order, Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) fell 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 in a third set super tie-break.
Valparaiso (0-6) will look for its first victory on March 13 as the Crusaders head to Kissimmee, Fla. for its spring trip. The Crusaders will face Wagner in a 9 a.m. CST match.