Valparaiso won five out of six brackets, including a tight battle between teammates in the A singles championship won by junior Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley), as the Crusaders hosted the final day of play of the Valparaiso Invitational on Saturday at the Valpo Tennis Complex.
On a beautiful day for tennis in the middle of campus, action started with the final two rounds of doubles play, which saw the Crusaders take titles in two flights. Flight C saw two Crusader teams meet for bragging rights, as sophomore Egan Hart (Raleigh, N.C./Ravenscroft) and freshman Michael Savaglio (Kenosha, Wis./Mary D. Bradford) picked up an 8-3 win over Chris Bunch and Andrew Yopp of Western Illinois in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, freshmen Daniel Etman (Highland Park, Ill./K12 International Academy) and Brian Hickey (Western Springs, Ill./Fenwick) defeated a mixed team of Rashley Yeremia from Chicago State and Brett Furmanski from Western Illinois, 8-5, in semifinal play. In the championship match, Hart and Savaglio ended up 8-2 victors over Etman and Hickey.
Freshmen Michael Baiocchi (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and Danny Oakes (Elburn, Ill./Saint Charles North) took the B doubles title with wins over Olivet Nazarene's Josue Sanchez and Addison Newell (8-2) and Western Illinois' Mitch Granger and Brandon Meeker (8-6) on Saturday. In flight A of doubles, Honert and freshman Lucas Waak (Manitowoc, Wis./Roncalli) fell 8-2 to Patrick Hammers and Ben Yue in the semifinal, their only match of doubles play Saturday due to withdrawals.
Valpo swept the titles in all three singles flights, highlighted by the battle for the A singles title. Honert defeated Olivet Nazarene's Diego Gonsalvez 6-3, 6-1 in his semifinal to advance to the title match, while Savaglio advanced on his side of the bracket by virtue of a 6-1, 6-4 victory against Chicago State's Sergiu Muresan. When it came time for the final, the pair of teammates were virtually inseparable, as each of the first two sets went to tiebreaks. Honert eventually came out with the win over Savaglio, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 10-7.
Baiocchi earned the championship in the B singles bracket with a pair of three-set wins on Saturday. The freshman downed Tim Worley of Western Illinois in the semifinal (3-6, 6-2, 10-4) before defeating the Leathernecks' Mitch Granger in the title match (6-3, 3-6, 10-1). Waak fell to Granger in his semifinal by a 3-6, 7-6 (3), 10-6 score, but rebounded for a 6-4, 7-5 win over Worley in the third-place match. In the B singles back draw, Hart earned a 4-6, 6-4, 10-5 win over Chicago State's Rashley Yeremia before falling 7-5, 7-5 to Olivet Nazarene's Peter Jensen.
Hickey won the flight C singles title with a pair of straight set wins on Saturday. The freshman opened singles play Saturday with a 6-2, 6-3 win over WIU's Brandon Meeker and then defeated WIU's Brett Furmanski (6-3, 6-0) in the title match. Oakes fell in three sets to Furmanski in his semifinal outing by a 6-3, 4-6, 10-3 score. In the back draw, Etman defeated Seth Perry from Olivet Nazarene (6-1, 6-1) before earning a 6-2, 6-1 win over Western Illinois' Andrew Yopp.
Valparaiso returns to the courts to host its Alumni Tournament on Homecoming Saturday, Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. at the Valpo Tennis Complex.