The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team had a quality showing at the Purdue Fall Invitational on Friday in West Lafayette. Two of the team’s three doubles pairs garnered first-round wins, while four of Valpo’s five singles players recorded at least one victory and three went 2-0 to earn semifinal berths.
How It Happened
- After winning the Flight D Singles title at the Purdue Fall Invitational a year ago, fifth-year senior Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) enjoyed continued success on Friday despite advancing all the way to the Flight A draw this season. He started the day with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Stefan Dragovic of Marquette before rallying from a set down to beat DePaul’s Chris Casati 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Casati is a three-time Big East all-academic team member and earned a spot on the All-Big East second team in 2018. Pecyna will face Louisville’s Sergio Hernandez in a semifinal on Saturday.
- Freshman Philipp Leithold (Esslingen, Germany / Theodor-Huess Gymnasium) also made his way into the semifinals by topping Dayton’s Joe DeMarco 6-3, 6-2 in the opening round before garnering a 6-2, 7-6(4) victory over Kah Leon of Purdue Northwest. He’ll compete in a semifinal match on Saturday in Flight D.
- Freshman Oscar Mendoza (Guayaquil, Ecuador / Interamerican Academy) contributed to the team’s winning ways with a pair of victories in Flight E. He also enjoyed a flawless day to earn a semifinal berth, coming from behind to beat Olivet’s Alfonso Martinez in three sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 before topping Shaddy Khalafallah of Marquette 6-4, 6-1.
- In-Flight B, senior Gabriel Carvajal (Pembroke Pines, Fla. / Broward Virtual School [Florida Atlantic]) rolled to a 6-4, 6-2 win over Chris Adams of Ball State to start the day. He incurred a 7-6(4), 6-4 setback to Brett Winters of Xavier in the second round.
- Carvajal/Pecyna picked up a 7-6 win over a Purdue Northwest combo in the top doubles draw, while Brozovich/Mendoza didn’t drop a game in their 6-0 victory over Olivet in Flight C.
- Valpo’s quality day came without the services of several players who were sidelined by injuries.
Play will begin at 7:30 a.m. CT / 8:30 a.m. ET on Saturday in West Lafayette with two rounds of doubles and one round of singles slated to take place.