The Valparaiso men's tennis team fell in its toughest match to date, 6-1, to #26 Northwestern Sunday evening at the Combe Tennis Center in Evanston, Illinois.
"Obviously, this was a tough match tonight. We faced a lot of adversity. We showed a lot of heart, but need to keep working to get better for the coming weeks," head coach Jim Daugherty said.
The nationally-ranked Wildcats obtained the doubles point by a narrow edge.
Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) and Chase Hamilton (Hinsdale, Ill./Central) dropped a 6-3 decision at No. 2 doubles opposite Sam Shropshire and Alex Pasareanu.
Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) evened doubles play at No. 1 by knocking off Fedor Baev and Strong Kirchheimer, 6-4.
Alp Horoz/Mihir Kumar secured the point for Northwestern with a tight 7-5 win over Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio/Poland) and Lucas Waak (Manitowoc, Wis./Roncalli).
Kirchheimer, the 108th-ranked singles player in the nation, opened singles play with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Schorsch at No. 2.
NU's Logan Staggs got past Emhardt at No. 3 singles by a score of 6-3, 6-2.
Gardner fell at No. 4 to Kumar, 6-3, 6-0. Baev gave the home team a 5-0 lead by virtue of a 6-3, 6-4 result versus Waak.
Bacalla gave Shropshire all he could handle at No. 1 before dropping a 7-5, 6-4 tilt.
Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac) battled to earn his eighth singles win of the season. The sophomore dismissed Pasareanu at No. 6 singles, 7-5, 6-3.
"Credit to Kyle on a great win. His hard work is really paying off," Daugherty said.
Valparaiso (4-1) will have a few days off as it prepares for a busy next weekend. The Crusaders will welcome Butler to the Courts of NWI Saturday night at 6:00 pm CT. The Brown and Gold will then turn around and host a doubleheader on Sunday. Valpo and SIU-Carbondale will get underway at noon, followed by a dual versus Grace at 4:00 pm.