Valparaiso had mixed success on the opening day of the Valpo Fall Classic on Friday as the Crusaders hosted the event at the Valpo Tennis Complex.
The day began with doubles and the Brown and Gold split four matches. Alex Lau (Bloomington, Minn./Jefferson Senior H.S.) and Tom Litscher (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial H.S.) posted an 8-4 victory over a duo from IPFW in the B draw while Dan Brunette (Carmel, Ind./Lutheran H.S. of Indianapolis) and Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) topped Youngstown State 8-1 in the C flight.
Mike Shideler (Valparaiso, Ind./Muster H.S.) and Mike Wagner (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer H.S.) fell 8-6 in the A flight against Toledo while Phidias Fortune (San Antonio, Texas/New Braunfels H.S.) and Danny Lewallen (Wheatfield, Ind./Kankakee Valley H.S.) dropped an 8-3 match against another Rocket tandem.
In singles play, Wagner and Lau both dropped their opening matches in the A flight, but won in the back draw to advance to the consolation semifinals tomorrow. Wagner fell to Toledo but led 4-1 in the consolation round when his UIC opponent retired due to injury. Lau dropped a match to Green Bay before posting a 6-3, 6-2 win over Hermann Kuschke of IPFW.
The B flight saw Shideler notch a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Mickey Mitson of IPFW in his opening round before falling 6-4, 6-3 to Tyler Sonkin of Toledo in the quarterfinals. Brunette earned a 6-4, 6-3 win over Ryan Trapp of Youngstown State before falling 6-1, 7-6 to IPFW’s Arturo Salgado in the quarters. Litscher dropped both of his matches on Friday.
Stump posted a first round win, 6-4, 3-6, 11-9 over Diego Arteaga of IPFW in C flight, but was defeated his quarterfinal contest 6-3, 6-2. Fortune bounced back in the consolation draw after a first round loss with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over David Lynall of IPFW to advance to the back draw semifinals. Lewallen fell in straight sets twice in the C flight.
“We suffered a lot of close losses,” Valpo head coach Jim Daugherty said afterwards. “That is difficult to accept. I can only hope we will get better as a result. I have to give credit to the competition, though, as it is very strong this weekend.”
The weekend classic will conclude on Saturday with the second round of doubles action beginning at 9 a.m. Both the main draw and consolation draw semifinals in singles will take place beginning at 10 a.m. with both the doubles and singles championship contests being held on Saturday afternoon.