Valparaiso rallied from a 3-2 deficit to post victories at the top two singles spots as the Crusaders defeated Flagler, the seventh ranked team in the nation in NAIA, 4-3 on Thursday afternoon in Saint Augustine, Fla. as the Brown and Gold closed its spring trip.
Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) won a third set 7-5 to defeat Andri Johnson to post a 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 victory at second singles to tie the match at three. Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) then clinched the come-from-behind victory with a 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 win at the top spot winning a third set tie-break 7-3 against Mario Jutronic.
The Saints jumped in front in doubles action recording wins at the top two spots. Jutronic and Jonsson were 8-4 winners over Kooyers and Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) 8-4 and Jeremy Lamonde and Sven-David Rueff defeated Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) and David Bukowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect H.S.) 8-6. Valpo earned a win at third doubles 8-6 as Venegas and Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) bested Aaron Haines and Mate Pransevic 8-6.
Flagler (5-2) added wins at third and fourth singles to tally three points. Lamonde defeated Wagner 6-2, 6-1 and Rueff downed Shideler 6-1, 6-3. Valpo earned a win at five from Bukowski 6-3, 6-2 and Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) came from behind to top Pransevic 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, setting the stage for the top to singles contests.
Valparaiso (3-7) will be off until March 25 when the Crusaders head to Milwaukee, Wis. to face Marquette. First serve is set for noon.