The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team opened up the Rocket Invitational in Toledo, Ohio on Friday. The Crusaders started the day with a 5-0 victory over Detroit Mercy, then topped Niagara 4-1 in the evening session.
How It Happened – Detroit Mercy
- Senior Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond Du Lac) set the tone with a 7-6(6), 6-2 victory over Patryk Koscielski.
- Junior Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) cruised to a 7-5, 6-4 triumph over Adam Zychowicz.
- Only one match took three sets to complete. Valpo freshman Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) came from behind for a 4-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 win over Kacper Stelmaszak after dropping the first set.
- Redshirt freshman Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) topped Chance Conley 6-3, 6-1.
- The Crusaders captured a win in the only doubles match as freshmen Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla.) teamed up to beat Artem Vasheshnikov and Nathan Ponton 6-3, 6-3.
How It Happened – Niagara
- After notching singles wins in Friday’s earlier match, Dunn and Gardner formed Valpo’s doubles combo against the Purple Eagles. They bested Josh Wilson and Francis Nadeau 6-3, 6-4.
- Langston completed his successful day by fending off Niagara’s Taylan Ozdemir 6-4, 7-5.
- Pecyna, who didn’t drop a set all day, downed Brent Boleslav 6-4, 6-1.
- Brozovich whitewashed Chris Grossi 6-0, 6-0.
Inside the Invitational
- Valpo’s Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe), Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel), Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) are not competing in the Rocket Invitational. They qualified to represent Valpo at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Men’s All-American Championships, which begin on Saturday in Tulsa, Okla.
- The invitational format allows teams to rotate lineups for each match.
- Other participating teams include Case Western, Duquesne, Michigan, Purdue, Saint Francis, Wayne State, Western Michigan and Youngstown State.
The ITA All-American Championships crank up on Saturday in Tulsa, Okla. In Saturday’s pre-qualifying, Kissell faces Virginia Tech’s Jai Corbett, Emhardt is matched up with Columbia’s William Matheson and Bacalla will oppose Miami’s Max Andrews. The remainder of the team will continue action at Toledo and clash with the host Rockets on Saturday at 6 p.m.