The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team pulled out a climactic victory on Saturday, edging visiting Cleveland State 4-3 at the Courts of Northwest Indiana in Valparaiso. The match hinged on a three-set showdown at No. 1 singles that saw Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) pull out a narrow triumph to win the match in heart-pounding fashion.
How It Happened
- Valpo captured the doubles point thanks to the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles tandems both coming away victorious. Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) and Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) picked up a 6-4 victory at No. 2 doubles.
- At No. 3 doubles, Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) and Oscar Mendoza (Guayaquil, Ecuador / Interamerican Academy) grabbed a 6-2 win over Jack Santilli and Noah Cenkner.
- Langston won his No. 3 singles match by retirement due to a Cleveland State injury, building the Valpo lead to 2-0 in the team scoring.
- The Vikings (4-5) picked up wins at No. 3, No. 2 and No. 5 in the next three matches to finish, inching ahead 3-2 in the team score and needing to nail down just one more victory to take the match.
- Brozovich closed out a key 6-3, 6-4 win over Santilli at No. 6, causing all attention to shift to the No. 1 singles court.
- In the only three-set match of the afternoon, Ancona pulled out a 6-1, 6-7(4), 7-5 win over Nico Mostardi to lift the team to victory.
Inside the Match
- Ancona’s win over Mostardi came against the Horizon League Player of the Year from each of the last two seasons. The match was a battle between the 2018-19 Summit League Player of the Year and the 2018-19 Horizon League Player of the Year.
- Ancona improved to 9-4 this season in singles, in the process recording the 70th singles win of his collegiate career. He moved ahead of Eric Honert (2010-2014) and Michael Savaglio (2012-2016) and into sole possession of seventh on Valpo’s career wins list.
- The win for Langston was his fifth of the season in singles play and the 46th of his career. Brozovich nabbed his fourth win of the season.
- This marked the first matchup between Valpo and Cleveland State in men’s tennis since Valpo beat the Vikings 4-3 in the 2017 Horizon League championship match to go to the NCAA Tournament.
- This marked Valpo’s third 4-3 match of the season and first victory in those tight showdowns. Valpo previously dropped back-to-back 4-3 matches to Butler and Western Michigan.
Valpo (3-3) will play its second straight home match on Friday, Feb. 21 as Ball State comes to town for a 2 p.m. start.