The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team will head into the Summit League slate riding high after cruising to a 6-1 victory over Eastern Illinois on Friday at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith. The victory allowed Valpo to bolster its season record to 4-1.
How It Happened
- After Valpo dropped the No. 3 doubles match on the first court to finish, the team battled back to pick up wins on courts No. 1 and No. 2 to take the doubles point.
- At first doubles, Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and Kweisi Kenyatte (Detroit, Mich. / East English Village Prep) were victorious in a 6-3 showdown with Gage Kingsmith and Luka Knieling, while Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) and Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) won their second doubles match 6-3 over Daniel Hernandez and Braden Davis.
- The Valpo lead in the match quickly doubled to 2-0 when Ancona won by retirement while holding a 3-0 lead in Set 1 at No. 2 singles. Kissell played No. 1 singles for the first time this season and made quick work of Freddie O’Brien 6-1, 6-2.
- Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) grabbed a 6-4, 6-4 win over Logan Charbonneau at No. 5 singles.
- Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Knieling at fourth singles, picking up the fourth win of the night for Valpo to secure the team victory.
- Pecyna succumbed to Hernandez in a three-set thriller at No. 3 by the scores of 6-3, 3-6, 10-6. In the final match remaining, Nick Marino (Northbrook, Ill. / Glenbrook North) garnered a 6-4, 4-6, 10-7 win over Davis at No. 6.
Inside the Match
- Marino picked up his second victory of the season while making his first career dual match appearance.
- Kissell’s straight-set win came against a Second-Team All-OVC performer from last year in O’Brien.
- Kissell registered the 70th singles win of his career, moving into sixth place outright in program history. He remained perfect on the season by upping his mark to 5-0. He snapped a tie for sixth all-time with Eric Honert (2010-2014) and Michael Savaglio (2012-2016).
- Carvajal is also undefeated in spring dual matches as he stands at 5-0 in the calendar year.
- The doubles win was the 64th of Kissell’s career, allowing him to move past Nick Vuko (1998-2002) and into sole possession of sixth in program history. He needs three more to crack the Top 5.
- Ancona moved into a tie with Pecyna for the team lead in singles wins with 11.
- The Ancona/Kenyatte doubles team upped its record to 13-3 as that duo shares the team lead in doubles wins.
Valpo will head to Denver, Colo. to open Summit League play on Sunday at Denver. The match will get underway at 11 a.m. CT, and live stats will be available courtesy of Denver Athletics. This marks a rematch of last year’s Summit League semifinal that saw Valpo advance to the championship with a dramatic 4-3 victory. The Pioneers won last year’s regular season meeting 4-3.