Five of the six singles matches went three sets but Valparaiso was only able to win two of them as the Crusaders fell 5-2 to UIC in a contest that went late into the evening Friday night after being moved indoors to Matchpoint Tennis Club in Griffith, Ind. due to rain.
Jose Gaspar (Sao Paulo, Brazil/CEAD H.S.) needed a third set tie-break before posting a thrilling 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (6) victory over Alexander Raa at number one singles. Valpo also won at the second spot at Chris Baum (Charlotte, N.C./Providence H.S.) downed Nate Kirk 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, rallying after dropping the first set.
UIC (6-11, 3-2 Horizon) won three set matches at the third through fifth spots, as well as in straight sets at number six singles. Luiz Gonzaga posted a 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Kevin DeHerrera (Littleton, Colo./Chatfield H.S.) at number three while James Li was a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 winner over Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley H.S.) at the fourth spot. Gautham Oroskar notched a 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory over Adam Whitmer (Shipshewana, Ind./Westview H.S.) at five singles while Rahul Kamath topped Kyle Stump (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth H.S.) 6-4, 7-5 at the bottom of the order.
The Flames opened the match, sweeping doubles to gain the day’s first point. Raa and Dave Robare downed Gaspar and Honert 8-3 at first singles. Kirk and Scott Shepardson were 8-6 winners over Baum and Whitmer at the second spot while Gonzaga and Kamath downed DeHerrera and Stump by the same score at third doubles.
Valparaiso (6-11, 0-5) will return to the courts on Saturday afternoon hosting Indiana Wesleyan. First serve is set for 1 p.m. at the Valpo Tennis Complex.