The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team dropped Saturday’s match at the Butler Tennis Bubble in Indianapolis, succumbing to the host Bulldogs 5-2. The singles play of Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) remained a bright spot for the Crusaders, as he garnered yet another straight-set win, while Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) used a marathon Set 1 victory on his way to taking his match.
How It Happened
- The No. 3 doubles pair of Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) and Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) gained a 6-3 victory over Butler’s Ari Ferstein and Adrian Mag. Valpo’s Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Preparatory) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) fell 6-4 to Michael Dickson and Spencer Lang at No. 2, leaving the doubles point resting on the No. 1 match.
- That match was a thriller that needed a tiebreaker to be determined, but Kissell and Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) came up just shy against Aviv Ben Shabat and Mason Dragos, falling 7-6(4).
- Kissell continued to roll through the opposition in singles, dispatching Dragos in straight sets at No. 1, 6-4, 6-2.
- Gardner dropped his No. 4 singles match 6-4, 6-1 to Dickson to put the Crusaders (1-3) in a 2-1 hole in the team score, then the Bulldogs (5-2) won at No. 2 and No. 3 to nail down the match. Ancona fell to Ben Shabat 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2, while Kenyatte dropped his match to Lang 6-1, 7-6(2) at No. 3.
- The match was played on four courts, so No. 5 and No. 6 singles began when courts became available. Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) dropped his match at No. 6, 7-5, 6-2 to Gerstein.
- The last match left in action featured a thrilling opening set. Carvajal went to a 6-6 deadlock with Mag, eventually pulling out a wild 16-14 win in the set tiebreaker. Carvajal won the second set 6-4 to secure the match in straight sets.
Inside the Match
- Kissell is up to 58 career singles wins, a total that ranks seventh in program history. He’s 11-3 thus far in the 2017-18 season and a perfect 4-0 in dual play. The Crusaders are 53-3 (.946) at No. 1 singles in dual matches since the start of the 2015-16 season.
- All four of Kissell’s wins at No. 1 singles this spring have come in straight sets. A year ago, all 21 of Jeffrey Schorsch’s No. 1 singles wins were sweeps.
- Pecyna and Brozovich improved to 7-2 in their career as a doubles pair as they were teamed up for the first time this season. Pecyna moved to 6-5 in doubles this year, while Brozovich upped his mark to 5-4.
- Carvajal reached a double-figure win total on Saturday, improving to 10-4 in singles play in his first Crusader campaign.
The Crusaders will return home on Friday, Feb. 16 to host Eastern Illinois in a match that begins at 3 p.m. CT at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith, Ind.