Despite numerous close matches, Valparaiso came up on the short end of a 6-1 decision against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on Saturday afternoon in the Horizon League opener for both schools.
Green Bay (9-5, 1-0 Horizon) earned the day’s point, winning two of the three doubles contests. Valpo’s Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) and Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) got the Crusaders going, winning the first doubles match at the third spot, 8-3, against Marko Skoric and Matt Clegg. The Phoenix evened doubles after winning at the second spot as Paul Swanson and Henning Jess topped Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) and Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) by an 8-5 score. Green Bay then won the decisive one doubles match in a tie-break, 9-8 (2), as Fabian Gogolin and Josh Oothoudt defeated Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) and Arne Diehle (Reutlingen, Germany/Johannes Kepler H.S.).
“We got off to a good start in both singles and doubles today,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “Maintaining momentum has been the hardest part for us.”
Litscher picked up Valpo’s lone singles win, a 6-4, 2-6, 10-5 decision against Oothoudt at number four, but by that time the match had been decided. Clegg picked up the Phoenix’s second point with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Baum while Swanson was a 6-4, 6-1 winner against Stump at number two. Gogolin clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Whitmer at the top of the order. Jess added a 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 decision against Diehle at five while Skoric topped DeHerrera 6-4, 3-6, 10-4 at the bottom of the lineup.
“Despite the tough loss, I sense we’ll do better at managing the momentum of close matches as we move along in the season,” Daugherty concluded.
Valparaiso (2-9, 0-1) will return to the courts on Friday evening, taking on the Titans of Detroit in Detroit, Mich. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. CDT.