Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Crusaders Voted 4th in Horizon League Preseason Coaches' Poll
Valparaiso was tabbed fourth in the Horizon League Coaches Poll released Wednesday afternoon. (Dave Schofield)
Valparaiso was tabbed fourth in the Horizon League Coaches Poll released Wednesday afternoon. (Dave Schofield)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Horizon League released its preseason coaches' poll Wednesday afternoon. Valpo received 19 points in the survey, which landed them in fourth place in the now six-team conference.

Milwaukee received three first-place votes as coaches around the league anticipate the Panthers repeating as regular season champions. Wright State garnered one more first-place nod than UIC, but the Flames edged out the Raiders for second place.

Newcomer Oakland was slotted at fifth place ahead of Youngstown State. The Golden Grizzlies finished 20-35 in their final season in the Summit League. 

The Horizon League also announced its Preseason All-League Team. Seniors Chris Manning (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro), Bryce Hara (Irvine, Calif./Northwood [Irvine Valley College]) and Karch Kowalczyk (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru) were all represented. 

Manning is coming of a 2013 where he assembled a slash of .304/.379/.410 coupled with adept defense in right field. The outfielder enters 2014 having started 176 games for the Crusaders.

Hara's speed and ability to get on base makes him a threat on the offensive side of the ball. On defense, his range in center field is a boost to the Crusader pitching staff. Last season, Hara enjoyed a 19-game streak where he reached base at least once, the longest of any returning player.

Few relievers in the country had a better 2013 than Kowalczyk. The closer didn't allow his first run until May 4th and his twelve saves were the Horizon League watermark. On top being named the 2013 Horizon League Relief Pitcher of the Year, he was one of just 50 relievers named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List yesterday. Kowalczyk was rewarded with MVP honors after his three saves in last year's HL Conference Tournament.

The Crusaders begin their season Friday night as they open a three-game series with the Samford Bulldogs at 6:00 pm CT.

Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Milwaukee (3) -33
2. UIC (1) – 28
3. Wright State (2) – 27
4. Valparaiso – 19
5. Oakland – 11
6. Youngstown State – 8

*- First Place Votes in Parenthesis

Preseason All-League Team
C – Mitch Ghelfi, Milwaukee
1B – Michael Timm, Wright State
2B – Mike Porcaro, Milwaukee
SS – Alex Lee, UIC
3B – Sam Koenig, Milwaukee
OF – Kieston Greene, Wright State
OF – Chris Manning, Valparaiso
OF – Derek Peake, Milwaukee
DH – Chris Van Dyke, Oakland
UTIL – Bryce Hara, Valparaiso
P – Travis Hissong, Wright State
P – Karch Kowalczyk, Valparaiso

Preseason Player of the Year: Mike Porcaro, Milwaukee
Preseason Pitcher of the Year:
 Travis Hissong, Wright State

M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 5th/17 (20)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 11 9th/18 (12)
M Tennis Valpo 5 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 11 Detroit 2
Baseball Youngstown State 7 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 11 Valpo 10
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
M Soccer St. Joseph's College Eastgate Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Youngstown State 1 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 13
Softball Cleveland State 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 10:00 a.m. Valpo 2
Volleyball Western Michigan/Butler/Eastern Michigan ARC
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo
Softball Cleveland State 4 VU Softball Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 6
Baseball Youngstown State 12 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Valpo 4
W Tennis Valpo 1 Detroit, Mich.
Apr 12, 1:45 p.m. Detroit 6
M Soccer Benedictine Brown Field
Apr 12, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
W Soccer Haitian National Team Brown Field
Apr 12, 7:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20
Baseball Kalamazoo Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Ohio Northern Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 3:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22, 5:00 p.m. Western Illinois
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25 UIC
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana