The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team rounded out a weekend of competition at the Rocket Invitational in Toledo, Ohio on Sunday. The Crusaders split a pair of tight matches, edging Duquesne 3-2 before falling to Western Michigan 3-2 in a battle of two defending conference champions.
How It Happened – Duquesne
- Valpo sophomore Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) dispatched Dimitris Stavropoulos 6-3, 6-1.
- Redshirt freshman Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) got the better of Duquesne’s Dane Bendel in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2.
- Valpo doubles tandem Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) dropped the opening set 6-3, but then rallied to capture the remaining sets 6-2, 10-5 and notch the match-deciding win over Adam Blasinky and Chris Corrao.
- Senior Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) took Set 1 from Drew Akins 6-1, but Atkins emerged victorious 6-2 in the second set and 10-5 in the third.
- Freshman Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) followed the same pattern. He beat Jared Isaacs in the first set 6-4, only to drop Set 2 6-1 and Set 3 10-8.
How It Happened – Western Michigan
- Valpo’s lone singles win of the match against reigning MAC champion Western Michigan came courtesy of Langston, who knocked off Eric Oliverez 6-2, 6-3. It was Oliverez’s first loss of the season.
- The doubles duo of Dunn and Brozovich also recorded a straight-set victory, topping Western Michigan’s Billy Heckman and Nick Schnobel 6-3, 7-5.
- Gardner dropped a competitive match to Kennosuke Nouchi 6-4, 6-7 (5-10), 11-9.
- Pecyna forced a third set against Western Michigan’s Kris Knof, but fell 6-4, 3-6, 12-10.
- Ancona was on the losing end of a 6-2, 6-3 match against Jannik Opitz, who improved to 7-0 this season.
The ITA Men’s All-American Championships, with select Crusaders participating, continues through Oct. 10. The Oracle/ITA Masters will be held in Malibu, Calif. from Oct. 13-16 with Jeffrey Schorsch slated to represent Valpo. The Crusader Indoor Invitational will take place at the Courts of NWI from Oct. 14-16.