Valparaiso began its spring trip in Orlando, Fla. on Tuesday afternoon, battling Connecticut to numerous three set matches before falling 6-1.
The Crusaders nearly took the opening doubles point. Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) earned an 8-5 victory over Christian Malerba and Joey Michaels at number two doubles. The Huskies’ Andrew Marcus and Tom Cook defeated Valpo’s Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) by the same score at the third spot. Valpo’s Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) and Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) had a 7-4 lead at the decisive top spot against Joe Goldstein and Ben Schueler before the Huskies rallied for a 9-8 (5) victory to claim the first point.
In singles play, the Crusaders won the opening set in five matches, but could not hold on to the leads. Lau won in straight sets at the second spot 6-4, 6-2 against Schueler while Connecticut’s Michaels swept Wagner 6-3, 6-0 at number three. Shideler dropped a 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 decision to Goldstein at the top of the lineup while Litscher fell 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Marcus at number four. Brunette lost 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Malerba at fifth singles and Stump dropped a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 decision to Aaron Ribchinsky at the bottom of the order.
“The loss is very frustrating because I thought we would win the doubles point to start the match,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “We came out strong in singles, winning the first set in five of six matches. It is tough to lose those types of matches.”
Valparaiso (0-7) will face Adelphi in Orlando, Fla. beginning at 11:30 a.m. CDT on Wednesday.