Despite dropping the doubles point to begin the match, Valparaiso rallied during singles play to defeat Fairleigh Dickinson 4-3 on Tuesday morning in Fort Myers, Fla., giving the Crusaders their second victory in as many days.
The Knights posted 9-7 wins at both first and third doubles to take the early lead. Valpo's Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) and Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) earned the lone Crusader doubles victory with an 8-4 decision at the second spot, giving the duo a team high six wins on the year.
Valpo rallied during singles play. Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) won his third straight match, and 12th overall on the year, at fourth singles 6-0, 6-2 to even the match at one. David Bukowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect H.S.) put the Brown and Gold in front with a 6-4, 6-1 win at the third spot while Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) increased the Crusader lead to 3-1 with his 6-3, 6-2 triumph at fifth singles.
After Fairleigh Dickinson (3-4) posted a win at the top spot, Venegas clinched the match for the Crusaders with his 6-4, 6-4 win at the second spot in the order. The Knights won at sixth singles in a tie-break for the final point of the match.
Valparaiso (2-6) will take two days off before returning to the courts on Friday afternoon to wrap up play on their spring trip. The Crusaders will battle Florida Gulf Coast, the 13th ranked team in NCAA Division II, in Fort Myers beginning at 1 p.m. CDT.