Valparaiso began its spring trip on a positive note Monday morning as the Crusaders picked up their first victory of the season, defeating future Horizon League foe UW-Green Bay 6-1 in Fort Myers, Fla.
The Crusaders started the day strong, winning three close doubles matches. Dave Bukowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect H.S.) and Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) notched the first win at third doubles 8-6. Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) and Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) added a victory at the second spot by the same score to secure the opening point. Finally, Valpo's Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) and Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) completed the doubles sweep at the top spot, rallying from 7-3 down to win in a tie-break 9-8 (6).
UW-Green Bay (2-5) tied the match at one in singles, winning at the second spot. From there it was all Crusaders. Venegas cruised to a 6-0, 6-2 victory at the third spot while Lau notched a 6-1, 6-3 triumph at number four to increase the lead to 3-1. Wagner clinched the match with a 6-3, 6-4 win at sixth singles while Kooyers followed with a 6-2, 6-4 victory at first singles. Shideler added Valpo's fifth straight sets victory of the day to close out the match by the score of 7-6 (3), 6-3 at fifth singles.
Valparaiso (1-6) will continue its spring break matches on Tuesday morning as the Crusaders battle Fairleigh Dickinson. First serve is set for 8 a.m. CDT in Fort Myers.