The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team made it back-to-back victories by garnering a 5-2 triumph over Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon at The Courts of Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso. The team gained the doubles point and won three of the first four singles matches to finish to secure the triumph in efficient fashion, polishing off a 2-0 weekend that started with a win at Chicago State on Friday.
How It Happened
- Valpo started the match by capturing the doubles point, earning wins in the No. 3 and No. 1 matchups. A tight match at No. 2 doubles went unfinished with NIU in front at the time the top singles match went final.
- Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) and Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) were the first to finish, rolling to a 6-1 victory over Mikael Vollbach and Shao-Yu Yu at No. 3. The top doubles team of Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) also had a strong showing, earning a 6-2 victory over the NIU tandem of Bor Schweiger Muzar and David Pata.
- Oscar Mendoza (Guayaquil, Ecuador / Interamerican Academy) enjoyed a quick 6-4, 6-1 win over Mikael Vollbach at No. 6 singles, the first singles match to finish.
- The next match to reach completion came at No. 2, where Pecyna got the best of Pata in straight sets 6-2, 6-4. That gave Valpo a commanding 3-0 lead in the team score.
- Northern Illinois (2-4) picked up its first victory of the afternoon at No. 3 singles in a straight-set affair.
- Ancona topped Schweiger Muzar 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles. That cemented the victory for Valpo as the team won three of the first four singles matches to finish plus the doubles point.
- The final matches remaining in action were at No. 4 and No. 5. NIU prevailed at fifth singles, while Carvajal grinded his way to a 7-5, 5-7, 10-5 victory over Yu at No. 4 in the longest match of the afternoon.
Inside the Match
- Ancona picked up career doubles win No. 58, a total that ranks eighth in program history. Pecyna obtained his 45th doubles victory.
- This was the second straight season Valpo topped NIU after also winning 5-2 a year ago. Last year’s meeting was the first since 2013, a 7-0 win for the Huskies.
- Northern Illinois was previously 2-0 this season against teams from the Summit League, owning a 4-3 victory over defending league champion Drake and a 5-2 win over North Dakota.
- Ancona’s victory came over Schweiger Muazar, an All-MAC performer in 2017-18 and Second Team All-MAC honoree in 2018-19.
- Ancona and Pecyna topped Schweiger and Muzar at first doubles, a duo that twice won MAC Doubles Team of the Week and went 9-3 last year. For Pecyna, it avenged a doubles loss from last season as he and Chad Kissell fell 6-3 to that Huskie duo a year ago. Valpo took the doubles point from Northern Illinois this year after dropping it when the teams matched up last March in Orlando.
- Pecyna grabbed his 10th singles win of the season, in the process reaching the 50-win milestone for his career. He’s seven shy of entering the program’s single-season Top 10.
- Ancona gained his 69th career singles win, jumping into a tie for seventh with Eric Honert (2010-2014) and Michael Savaglio (2012-2016).
Valpo (2-2) will travel to Milwaukee on Saturday, Feb. 9 to take on Marquette in a 2 p.m. match.