Sophomores Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) and Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) were the only Crusaders to enjoy a flawless weekend of singles play, as they were victorious for the third straight match on Sunday to help the Valparaiso University men’s tennis team take five of eight singles matches from host Western Michigan on the final day of the Western Michigan Invite in Kalamazoo. The Crusaders also competed in a pair of doubles duels – taking three of four from the University of Chicago while dropping three of four to Xavier.
How It Happened
- Langston battled from a set down and won an elongated third-set tiebreak to seal his 3-0 weekend record. He edged Nick Schnobel 4-6, 6-3, 14-12. Pecyna’s win came 6-3, 6-1 over Zac Faveri.
- The bottom half of the lineup came through for the Crusaders. Senior Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) notched a victory, sweeping Billy Heckman 6-4, 6-2. Freshman Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) did his part, getting the best of Lenhard Haupt 7-6, 6-3.
- Sophomore Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) captured a straight-set wins on Sunday, 6-2, 6-0 over Kris Knof.
- Junior Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe), sophomore Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) and senior Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) lost their singles matches, but all three were tightly-contested. Kissell and Ancona both went to three sets, and Kissell’s set scores were particularly close – 7-6, 6-7, 10-8.
- The Crusaders won three of the four doubles matchups with the University of Chicago. The Maroons’ top doubles team knocked off Kissell and Gardner 8-6, but the three other Valpo doubles tandems – Kenyatte/Ancona, Carvajal/Langston and Pecyna/Marino – were victorious. Kenyatte and Ancona played a particularly thrilling match, edging a Chicago pair 8-7.
- Kissell rebounded in his second doubles match, teaming up with Ancona to beat a Xavier pair 8-6. The other three doubles matches between Valpo and Xavier continued the day’s tightly-contested trend. Valpo lost all three by the scores of 8-6, 8-7 and 8-7.
Inside the Matches
- Kenyatte, Langston, Carvajal, Pecyna and Brozovich all share the team lead with five singles wins apiece. Each player has just one defeat.
- With his two singles wins on Saturday, Kissell now owns 52 in his Crusader career. He has sole possession of 10th in program history, passing Jeff Vrabel (2000-04), who accumulated 50 career singles victories.
- Kissell owns 46 career doubles wins and needs five more to crack Valpo’s Top 10.
- Gardner’s Sunday victory lifted his career total to 62, the most among active Crusaders and seventh in program history.
- Gardner now has 56 career doubles triumphs and is even with Lucas Waak (2012-16) for sixth on Valpo’s all-time doubles wins list.
- Ancona is up to 27 career singles successes as only a sophomore, while Brozovich and Langston hold 16 career wins each, while Pecyna has 17 career wins.
Next on the docket is the Valpo Fall Invitational, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8 at the Valpo Tennis Complex.