Valparaiso earned its first conference victory as members of the Horizon League on Sunday afternoon, defeating Youngstown State 5-2 at the Courts of Northwest Indiana. The match had to be moved indoors due to the rain and cool temperatures in Valparaiso, Ind.
Valpo got off to a strong start sweeping the doubles point. Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) cruised to an 8-1 victory over Diego Cerzosimo and Christopher Leson at number two doubles. Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Munster H.S.) and Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) topped Scott Kathary and Ryan Trapp 8-6 at the top of the lineup. The Crusaders completed the sweep at third doubles as Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) posted an 8-5 victory over Zach Landgraf and Maurice Rucker.
With just three courts available on the afternoon, the top three singles matches went out first. Youngstown State (2-8, 0-2 Horizon League) took the lead 2-1 as Cerzosimo downed Wagner 6-3, 6-0 at third singles and Kathary defeated Shideler 7-6 (4), 6-2. Lau tied the match at two with his 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at the second spot in the lineup.
Litscher gave Valpo the lead at fourth singles with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Rucker and Stump clinched the match with his 6-1, 6-0 win over Landgraf. Brunette added a three-set 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win against Leson at the fifth spot.
“I can’t say we played our best match of the season, but I’m proud of the way the guys fought and adjusted their game plans to pull out the victory,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “Any win is a good win.”
Valparaiso (3-8, 1-1) will return to the courts on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders host IPFW. First serve at the Valparaiso Tennis Complex is set for 3 p.m.