The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team competed in its final regular season road match of the season on Sunday morning in Miamisburg, Ohio against Wright State. The Crusaders dispatched the Raiders 6-1, setting themselves up for the chance to secure at least a share of the Horizon League regular season title with a win on Friday against Green Bay.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (19-3, 5-0 Horizon) took the doubles point in lopsided fashion as Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) were the first to finish, blanking the opposition at No. 2 6-0. They were soon followed by the reunited No. 1 doubles pair of Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) and Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg), who bested Wright State’s top team 6-2.
- With the doubles point already locked up, the match between Valpo’s Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) and Brian Pecya (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) and Wright State’s Carlos Sanchez and Marcel Ueltzhoeffer went unfinished. Ancona and Pecya led 4-3.
- Schorsch was the first singles player to complete his match, downing Jacob Perkins 6-3, 6-0.
- Freshman Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) played No. 6 singles and delivered the most lopsided set scores of the day, defeating Sanchez 6-0, 6-1.
- The clinching point of the match was nailed down by Gardner, who won 6-1, 6-1 over Javier Alvarez at No. 4.
- Dunn dispatched Jonas Brezing 6-1, 6-2 at No. 3, while Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) achieved a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) win over Ueltzhoeffer at No. 5.
- The only Wright State (5-16, 1-4 Horizon) win occurred at No. 2 singles, as Fernando Nardelli edged Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) 7-6 (4), 4-6, 11-9.
Inside the Match
- The Crusaders are 13-0 against Horizon League opponents (including league tournament matches) over the last two seasons.
- Schorsch and Emhardt, ranked No. 18 in the most recent Oracle/ITA Division I national rankings, were back together as Emhardt returned from an injury. They are now 18-6 as a tandem and 8-2 in dual play this season.
- Dunn and Schorsch are both 5-0 in Horizon League singles play and they share the team lead in wins with 23 apiece.
- Freshmen Brozovich and Langston were both victorious in their first career Horizon League singles matches.
- With two regular-season matches plus the Horizon League Tournament and potential postseason play all remaining, the Crusaders are two wins away from matching the program record of 21 wins established a year ago.
- Schorsch picked up his 107th career singles win and 109th career doubles victory, while Emhardt extended his program record with his 111th career doubles win.
The Crusaders are set for their most compelling match of the season on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Valpo Tennis Complex. The Green Bay Phoenix will come to town for a battle of teams that have yet to lose in Horizon League play. The Phoenix are 3-0 and still have four league matches remaining, while Valpo is 5-0 with just two matches left. The Crusaders can secure at least a share of their second straight Horizon League regular season title with a win on Friday. The match is also a battle of each of the last two Horizon League Tournament champions.