The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team opened up the home portion of its dual season with a 7-0 triumph over instate rival Butler on Friday afternoon at the Courts of Northwest Indiana. The Crusaders rebounded from a tightly-contested loss to Wisconsin last week to up their dual match record to 2-1.
How It Happened
- Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) secured another victory at No. 2 singles by besting Butler’s Mikheil Khmiadashvil 6-4, 7-6(5) in two close sets.
- Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) was victorious in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2 over Butler’s Spencer Lang.
- At No. 1 singles, Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) grinded out a 7-5 win over Aviv Ben Shabat in the opening set before cruising to a 6-2 victory in Set 2 to capture the match.
- Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel), who moved up to No. 3 singles for this match, prevailed over Mason Dragos in the only three-set affair of the match. Emhardt dropped the opening set 6-3 before storming back with 6-3, 6-2 wins.
- Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) also bumped up a spot in the lineup, facing Ari Gerstein at No. 5 singles. His afternoon was a successful one as he prevailed 6-3, 7-6.
- Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) was inserted at No. 6 singles and notched a 6-3, 6-2 win over Temilope Adelakun.
- After missing the match against Wisconsin last week, Valpo’s No. 3 doubles duo of Dunn and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) returned to the lineup and didn’t miss a beat, prevailing 6-2 over Ben Shabat and Gerstein.
- The top Valpo doubles team of Schorsch and Emhardt fell to Dragos and Khmiadashvil 6-4.
- The doubles point hinged on the outcome at No. 2 doubles, where Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Kissell were able to take care of business against Lang and Temilope Adelakun by picking up a 6-3 win.
Inside the Match
- Kissell and Dunn both notched their 10th singles victory of the season. They share the team lead in that department.
- Kissell has lived up to his national ranking since being anointed the No. 95 singles player in the country in the most recent ITA rankings. He has rapped off three straight victories – including a three-set win against Wisconsin last week – to begin the spring campaign. In addition, Kissell has won six of his last seven going back to last spring.
- Excluding the NCAA Tournament loss to No. 14 Northwestern, Kissell has won 13 straight in dual matches. He entered last year’s NCAA appearance on a 10-match winning streak.
- Schorsch now owns 93 career singles wins and stands at 9-5 this season. Emhardt captured his 78th career singles triumph.
The Crusaders continue the home weekend on Sunday at noon as they welcome William & Mary to the Courts of NWI. The Tribe is 3-1 this spring entering a match at Notre Dame on Saturday with its lone loss coming in the season opener against Yale. William & Mary figures to be one of the best opponents on Valpo’s schedule this season.