Every player for the Crusaders posted at least one victory on Friday afternoon, either in singles or doubles, as play came a close on the opening day of the inaugural Valpo Fall Classic held at the Valparaiso University Tennis Complex.
Valpo put together a strong showing in the first round of doubles to start the day off right. Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) and Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) posted an 8-4 victory over the team of Scott Kathary and Tom Barth of Youngstown State to advance to the afternoon's semifinal round in the A Flight.
In the C Flight, Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) and Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) had the same success in their first round match, downing a combined team of Wright State's Daniel Woods and IUPUI's Josh Kutch by the score of 8-3. Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) teamed with UW-Green Bay's Matt Keesey to post an easy 8-0 victory over Bruce Fortson and Tommy Cox of Wright State to advance to the semifinals.
As the players switched over to singles play, Kooyers registered a thrilling come-from-behind 3-6, 6-2, 11-9 victory over Tom Barth of Youngstown State in the first round of A Singles. In the B Flight, David Bukowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect H.S.) earned a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Dean Guyer of IUPUI to advance while Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) also posted a win in the same flight by the score of 6-2, 6-1 over Ryan Trapp of Youngstown State.
Singles success continued for the Crusaders in the C Flight, as Lau posted a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Tony Mitson of IPFW in the opening round. Litscher also had opening round success, as he posted a 6-2, 6-4 straight sets win over Maurice Rucker of Wright State.
The opening day of play closed with the semifinal round of doubles. Wagner and Lau earned a berth in Saturday's championship match with their 8-1 victory over E.J. Dechow and Blake Powers of IUPUI. Venegas and Kooyers fell to a duo from Wright State 8-5 and will play in the third place match on Saturday. Shideler and Bukowski posted an 8-5 win in the consolation draw and will play for fifth place. Litscher dropped his mixed match 8-3 in the semifinals, and will be in the third place match as well.
Play will conclude on Saturday beginning with the finals of doubles at 9 a.m. Singles play will begin approximately 10 a.m.