Valparaiso took to the road for the final contest in their six-match road trip on Saturday afternoon and battled Michigan State until the end, only to fall to the Spartans 5-2 in East Lansing, Mich.
The Crusaders started the day in impressive fashion, winning the doubles point. After Alex Lau(Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) fell at the top spot to the 32nd-ranked doubles team of Nick Rinks and Adam Monich 8-4, Valpo posted wins at two and three. David Bukowski (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect H.S.) and Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) won 8-4 at the third spot to even up the battle for the opening point. Nic Kooyers (Holland, Mich./Holland H.S.) and Joe Venegas (Saint Charles, Ill./North H.S.) then put the Brown and Gold in front 1-0 in the team score with their 8-4 triumph at number two doubles.
The Spartans rebounded in singles to earn the victory, but not before several tough matches from the Crusaders. Lau earned Valpo's lone singles win, 6-2, 4-6, 10-4 at the fourth spot. Shideler battled to a second set tiebreak before falling at fifth singles 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Kooyers dropped a match 6-2, 6-0 to #45 Rinks at the top of the lineup while Venegas battled to a 6-1, 6-4 defeat at number two. Bukowski lost 6-2, 6-2 at the third spot while Wagner was defeated 6-3, 6-1 at sixth singles.
Valparaiso (2-8) will return to the courts on Wednesday afternoon as the Crusaders entertain Chicago State in a 3 p.m. match at the Valparaiso University Tennis Complex.