Trailing 3-0, Valparaiso roared back on Friday morning but fell one point short of completing the comeback as the Crusaders dropped a 4-3 match to Toledo at the Northwest Athletic Club in Michigan City, Ind.
“This is the most positive energy we have had as a team all year,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “If we keep this spirit up I feel certain we’ll continue to improve at a great rate.”
Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) started the rally with a straight sets 6-4, 7-5 victory over Gursher Harika at the second spot in the singles order. Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) made it a 3-2 match after a thrilling second set tie-break to defeat Bryant Dudzik 6-4, 7-6 (9) at third singles.
Toledo (8-5) clinched the match with a win at sixth singles as Terence Weigand downed Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) 6-1, 6-4. Valpo was not done battling for the day though, as Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley H.S.) earned the Crusaders’ third win. After winning splitting sets and playing a match tie-break, the freshman dropped the first six points of the tie-break before roaring back with 10 unanswered points for his 7-6 (3), 3-6, 10-6 victory at number five singles.
The Rockets won the first two singles matches completed as Nutthavit Likitkumchorn downed Jose Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil/CEAD H.S.) in a match tie-break 3-6, 6-2, 10-1 at the top of the order and Leo Sarria defeated Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) 6-3, 6-3 at number four singles.
Toledo opened the match capturing the doubles point. Sven Burus and Aleksandar Elezovic downed Gaspar and Baum 8-0 at number one while Dimofte and Dudzik were 8-4 winners over DeHerrera and Stump. Second doubles was not finished due to the point being determined.
Valparaiso (0-4) will return to action on Saturday afternoon facing Grace. First serve is set for 1 p.m. CST at the South Bend Racquet Club.