Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Valpo Men Have High Hopes Entering 2006 Tennis Season

Thursday, January 26, 2006

After finishing the 2005 regular season in second place in the Mid-Continent Conference and advancing to the title match of the league tournament, hopes are high for the Valparaiso Crusaders as the Brown and Gold are set to begin the 2006 campaign.

A youthful roster for 21st year head coach Jim Daugherty gives the Crusaders a great deal of flexibility as Valpo prepares for yet another tight Mid-Continent Conference race.

Valpo is coming off of a 5-1 conference mark last year and finished 9-13 overall. The Crusaders return eight players from last year's runner-up team and have added one talented freshman in hopes of making a run at the Mid-Continent Conference crown.

A pair of All Mid-Continent Conference juniors should anchor the Crusader lineup for 2006. Nic Kooyers was named to the league's First Team as a sophomore, a year after earning Second Team accolades as a rookie. Playing first and second singles last season, Kooyers posted a 14-15 mark overall and 4-2 in league play.

Joe Venegas, another junior, earned Second Team All Mid-Con accolades from the league's coaches last season. He finished 4-1 in Mid-Con action as a sophomore playing third singles most of the year, and should remain as a mainstay in the lineup this year.

The lone senior on the Valpo squad this year is Evan Roller. The only Crusader not to see action this past fall, he will be primed for the competition as the regular season begins. He has mainly played sixth singles throughout his career with the Brown and Gold.

Junior David Bukowski will find himself in more of an upperclassman's role this season. The transfer from Oakton Community College won 11 of his final 14 singles matches in his first season with the Crusaders, competing in the fourth and fifth spots in the lineup. He won all three Mid-Con matches he played in last year and notched four wins during the past fall in various tournaments.

Four sophomores will also be called upon to help make the 2006 season a success for Valpo. Mike Shideler saw a great deal of action during his rookie season at fourth and fifth singles. He had a very successful doubles campaign as well, playing at the top spot in his first year.

Mike Wagner also was a mainstay in the Valpo lineup last year. He notched an even 12-12 record overall in singles play, mostly in the fifth and sixth positions. This year he will move up the lineup as Daugherty will rely on the underclassmen to come through for the Brown and Gold.

Blain Keller, another of Valpo's sophomores, was utilized more as a doubles specialist in his rookie campaign. He played in the third spot most of the year as well as in invitationals. This past fall he saw action in singles as well, and may be called upon for both roles this year.

Dan Brunette may be one of the most improved players on the squad heading into 2006. Having played in just three singles matches all of 2004-2005, the sophomore notched a 7-4 mark in singles play and a 5-1 doubles record during Valpo's fall campaign.

The lone freshman added to the roster for 2006 will also help make an impact on the squad. Alexander Lau went 6-3 in singles play during the fall semester and combined with Brunette for the 5-1 mark in doubles competition. If he can continue his strong play, he will see a great deal of action in his rookie season with the Brown and Gold.

Valpo has a very challenging schedule in preparation for the Mid-Continent Conference season. The Crusaders will open the campaign on January 28 at Butler and head to Purdue the following day.

The non-conference road slate also sees the Crusaders head to Western Michigan, Ball State, and DePaul before returning home for their first match in Northwest Indiana as Bradley comes to Matchpoint Tennis Center on February 19.

Following a road match at Illinois-Chicago, Valparaiso will head to Florida for its annual spring trip in Kissimmee. The Crusaders have four matches slated on the trip. The Brown and Gold returns to the northern part of the country for a match at Marquette before hosting Dayton, Wisconsin-Green Bay, and IPFW in a four-day span.

The Mid-Continent Conference schedule begins with a cluster in Tulsa, Oklahoma April 7-9 while the Crusaders will host the second cluster at the Valparaiso University Tennis Complex April 13-15. Conference play is key as only the top four schools will qualify for the Mid-Con Tournament in Tulsa on April 21-22.

Valpo has the talent and the depth to make a run for the Mid-Con crown. But with a talented league, competition will be challenging. The non-conference slate is designed to prepare valpo for the challenge. After that, it is just a matter of the players stepping up and competing day after day.
W Golf IPFW Spring Invitational Fort Wayne, Ind. (Chestnut Hills G.C.)
Apr 7 9th/12 (642)
Softball Northern Illinois 6 VU Softball Field
Apr 8 Valpo 8
Baseball Valpo 5 Evanston, Ill.
Apr 8 Northwestern 12
Softball Northern Illinois 3 8 inn.
Apr 8 Valpo 4
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
W Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (60.50)
M Track Chicagoland Championships Romeoville, Ill.
Apr 12 6th/20 (48)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 12 t-7th/13 (588)
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 12 3rd/6 (335); 4th/6 (350)
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
W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
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
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 11:00 a.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 18, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
W Tennis Youngstown State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18, 4:00 p.m. Valpo
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19
W Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 10:00 a.m. Valpo
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Valpo Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19, 1:00 p.m. Milwaukee
Softball Oakland VU Softball Field
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Cleveland State Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19, 2:00 p.m. Valpo
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 Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 5:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
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
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26 Horizon League Tournament
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