Valparaiso dropped a pair of tough Mid-Continent Conference matches on Saturday in Indianapolis. The Crusaders fell in the morning 4-1 to Western Illinois before suffering a 4-3 setback to IUPUI in the afternoon.
In the morning match against Western Illinois (13-7, 3-0 Mid-Con), the Leathernecks jumped in front winning the doubles point. Drew Forsberg and Martin Bostrom downed Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) and David Bukowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect H.S.) 8-0 at the third spot while Josh Wittenberg and Justin Junck topped Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) 8-4 at number one doubles.
In singles play, Lau won his second straight Mid-Con match with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Andy Jones and third singles, but that would be the only point the Crusaders would win in the match. Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) dropped a 6-1, 6-1 contest to Bostrom at the top of the order while Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) fell to Junck 6-3, 7-5 at number two singles. Forsberg finished the victory for Western Illinois with a 6-1, 6-4 victory at number five singles. Shideler was just one game away from winning his fourth singles match for the Crusaders, leading Neil Lesinski 6-2, 5-3 when the match was stopped. Bukowski had dropped the first set at the sixth spot but was leading in set two against Ragee-Nelson when that match was stopped as well.
Against the host Jaguars, the Crusaders jumped in front winning the opening doubles point. Venegas and Kooyers combined for an 8-5 victory at second doubles over Javier Saab and Dean Guyer. Bukowski and Wagner then teamed for an 8-6 victory over Ross Gehlhausen and Tsuyoshi Yamabe in the third slot, securing the point. Shideler and Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) were even, 7-7, at number one when their match was halted.
IUPUI (4-13, 2-1) battled back in singles to earn the victory. Lau won his third straight match for the Brown and Gold, 6-1, 6-7 (4), 7-5 at the fourth spot against Gehlhausen for another Valpo point while Bukowski won his second Mid-Con match of the year, defeating Greg Fallowfield 6-4, 6-0 at fifth singles.
Gabriel Garcia notched a 6-2, 7-5 win for IUPUI at number one against Kooyers while Saab downed Vengas 6-2, 6-2 at number two. Gregory Sosa earned yet another point for the hosts with his 6-2, 7-6 (5) win at third singles. The final Jaguar point came in a tight, three-set match as Yamabe topped Litscher 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Valparaiso (3-15, 0-3) will finish up Mid-Con play next weekend with their final cluster of the regular season in Shreveport, La. The Crusaders open action on Friday afternoon at 9 a.m. against host Centenary.