Valparaiso took a 3-0 lead on Sunday morning against Youngstown State, but the Penguins rallied winning the final four singles contests to post a 4-3 victory over the Crusaders at the Boardman Tennis Center in Boardman, Ohio.
“You have to give Youngstown State credit,” head coach Jim Daugherty said. “They are a much improved team this season.”
Valpo jumped on top early, sweeping the doubles point. Jose Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil/CEAD H.S.) and Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley H.S.) defeated Tariq Ismail and Max Schermin 8-4 at number one doubles while Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) and Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) were 8-5 victors over Rodrigo Campos and Felipe Rosa at second doubles. Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) and Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) won by that same score against Zeeshan Ismail and Rob Emig at the third spot.
The Crusaders added to the lead when Honert downed Zeeshan Ismail 6-1, 6-4 at the fourth spot and Baum added a 6-4, 6-2 win over Rosa at number two, putting Valpo within one point of clinching the match.
Youngstown State (5-10, 1-3 Horizon) rallied, as Schermin downed DeHerrera 6-4, 6-2 and Tariq Ismail topped Gaspar 6-4, 7-5. The Penguins tied the match when Campos defeated Whitmer 6-4, 6-3 at the fifth spot and clinched the match at six as Emig rallied from a set down to defeat Stump 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Valparaiso (5-10, 0-4) will step out of conference play on Wednesday to host IPFW. First serve is set for 3 p.m. at the Valpo Tennis Complex.