Valparaiso University’s Phidias Fortune (San Antonio, Texas/New Braunfels H.S.) earned his first collegiate singles victory on Saturday afternoon, one of two Crusader wins on the day, as the Brown and Gold competed in day two of the Bradley Invitational in Peoria, Ill.
Fortune defeated IUPUI’s Jesus Diaz 6-0, 6-2 in the consolation bracket of the E draw and will advance to face Richard Robertson of Bradley tomorrow in the consolation final. Robertson downed Valpo’s Dan Lewallen (Wheatfield, Ind./Kankakee Valley H.S.) 6-2, 6-3.
Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) earned Valpo’s other victory on Saturday, defeating Bradley’s Milos Romic and Wilder Sampson 8-3 to finish in third place in the B doubles draw. The duo dropped their semifinal match 9-7 to a team from Saint Louis earlier in the day.
In other doubles play, Fortune and Lewellen fell 8-2 in the consolation bracket of the C flight while Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) and Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) dropped an 8-3 match in the A draw. Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) also fell in the consolation bracket of the B flight 8-4.
In singles play, Lau dropped a tough 7-5, 6-3 semifinal final match to Sebastian Lystad of UIC and will play in the third place match on Sunday. Stump dropped a 6-2, 6-4 decision in his semifinal match of the D flight and will face Shideler in the third place match tomorrow. Shideler also was defeated 7-5, 6-1 in the semifinals. Wagner and Litscher both lost in the consolation draw of the B flight by scores of 6-2, 6-3 and 6-2, 7-6 (4) respectively. Brunette lost 6-3, 6-2 in the C consolation draw.
“I’m pleased that we’re competitive, but we need to do a better job of closing out games, sets, and matches,” Valpo head coach Jim Daugherty said after play on Saturday. “The good part of this is that it has served as a great motivator for the players and they are willing to work at improving.”
Valpo will wrap up action in Peoria on Sunday beginning at 9 a.m.