In what turned out to be a long day and night of tennis, a final result still was not decided when rain interrupted play for the third time, and brought an end to the match for the night on Friday with Presbyterian leading Valparaiso 3-2 with two matches still in progress at Star Island Resort in Kissimmee, Fla.
The Crusaders trailed the match 3-0 before battling back to cut into the Blue Hose lead and is headed for a third set at number five singles and on the verge of forcing a third set at the sixth spot.
Presbyterian opened the match sweeping the doubles point. Andrew Brigham and Rafael Berghaus defeated Jose Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil/CEAD H.S.) and Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) 9-7 at the top of the order while Gonzalo Asis and Nathan Crocker topped Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) and Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley H.S.) at the second spot by the same score. Edward Snead IV and Zacharty Sprouse were 9-8 (3) victors at third doubles against Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.).
The Blue Hose seemed in control of the match during the second rain delay of the day, winning the first set in five of six matches. Valpo turned things around though to force four three-set contests. Brigham topped DeHerrera 7-5, 6-3 at the third spot while Kenneth Mooney was a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Whitmer at number four to make it 3-0 Presbyterian.
Baum, who split the first two sets, turned the tide for the Crusaders and kept the Brown and Gold in the match. He rallied from 5-2 down in the third to defeat Berghaus 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 before Gaspar fought back from a set down to top Grayson Mills 2-6, 6-1, 6-1.
Trailing 3-2 in the match, Valpo put itself in position to complete the comeback on Saturday morning as rain came again around 10:30 p.m. EST stopping play for the night. Honert, playing Asis at the fifth spot, fell in set one but won the second set to set up the decisive third set. At number six singles, Michael Woodson (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft H.S.) has also battled back. He dropped his first set but leads 5-2 in set two, just one game away from forcing a third and decisive set. Valpo needs to win both matches to complete the comeback.
Action will resume early Saturday morning with the first serve set for 7:30 a.m. CST.