The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team closed out the season-opening River Forest Invitational on Sunday in River Forest, Ill., utilizing three championship victories and six total singles wins to complete a strong performance on the first weekend of fall competition.
How It Happened
- Sophomore Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) captured the No. 2 singles championship, downing Saint Louis’ John Nogalski for the title on Sunday. Ancona cruised to a straight-set win, taking the first 6-0 and the second 6-3.
- Gabriel Carvajal’s (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) first event as a member of the Crusaders was a success. Carvajal won the No. 3 singles draw championship match over Marquette’s Brandon Shanklin on Sunday. The sophomore transfer rebounded after losing the first set 7-6(0) to win Set 2 6-4 and Set 3 10-8.
- A pair of Valpo teammates faced off for the title in the No. 6 singles draw, as freshman Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) topped redshirt sophomore Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) 6-2, 6-3 to capture Valpo’s third singles championship of the event.
- Junior Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) was victorious in the No. 1 singles flight for the second consecutive day, besting Marquette’s Greg Anderson 6-2, 6-2 to finish fifth.
- Senior Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) was also a winner on Sunday, topping Detroit Mercy’s Adam Zychowicz for fifth place at No. 5 singles. The match needed three sets to reach a decision, as Gardner stormed from behind to record a 4-6, 6-2, 10-5 win.
- The final win of the day came in the No. 7 singles portion, as sophomore Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) swept his way to a 6-3, 7-5 triumph over Youngstown State’s Alonso Lauz. That completed a 3-0 tournament for Brozovich.
- Sophomore Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) reached the championship at No. 4 singles, but fell 6-1, 6-3 to Saint Louis’ Oscar Pachon.
- After winning his first two matches, freshman Nick Marino (Northbrook, Ill. / Glenbrook North) dropped a tightly-contested three setter to Youngstown State’s Yossi Dahan 6-2, 6-7(3-7), 10-8 on Sunday.
Inside the Matches
- A pair of Crusader veterans reached round numbers for their career win totals on Sunday. Gardner’s singles victory was the 60th of his career, which ranks seventh in program history. Kissell boosted his career total up to 50, becoming the 11th player in Valpo history to reach 50 career singles wins and moving into a tie for 10th in that category in program history.
- Ancona has 26 singles wins as only a sophomore, while Brozovich earned his 14th career singles win.
- Kenyatte and Carvajal are both off to unblemished 3-0 starts to their Crusader careers.
The Crusaders will be back in action this coming weekend as they partake in the Western Michigan Invitational. The event begins on Saturday and runs through Sunday.