The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team came out on top in a battle of the two most recent Horizon League champions and a pair of teams that entered the match undefeated in league play on Friday morning at the Valparaiso Tennis Complex. The Crusaders downed Green Bay 6-1, locking up at least a share of the Horizon League regular season title. Valpo can clinch the No. 1 seed in the league tournament by the end of the weekend depending on other Horizon League results.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (20-3, 6-0 Horizon) cruised to the doubles point from the Phoenix (6-8, 3-1 Horizon) with Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) whitewashing Green Bay’s Joshua Schramm and Ivan Radomirovic 6-0 at No. 3 doubles and Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) grabbing a 6-3 win at No. 1 against Florian Kraenzler and Charlie Ridout.
- The No. 2 doubles match went unfinished with Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) holding a 5-3 edge on Miles McDowall and Matej Kostadinov.
- Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) won by default over Ridout at No. 5 singles.
- Schorsch downed Kraenzler 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles.
- The No. 3 singles match was won by Bacalla, who defeated Schramm 6-2, 6-2.
- Valpo clinched the match with Dunn’s 6-4, 6-3 win over McDowall at No. 4.
- Kissell topped Kostadinov 6-3, 7-5 at No. 2 singles, while Radomirovic secured Green Bay’s only win at No. 6 singles, beating Gardner 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 10-7.
Inside the Match
- The Crusaders are 6-0 in Horizon League play with one match remaining, while Green Bay sits at 3-1 and Detroit Mercy at 2-1. Everyone else in the league has at least two league losses. Valpo still has Detroit Mercy on its schedule, so the Crusaders still need one more Detroit Mercy loss to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Horizon League Tournament, which begins on April 28 in Ann Arbor. The Titans host Wright State on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT and Northern Kentucky on Sunday at noon.
- The Crusaders nailed down their third straight 20-win season with the victory. They are three wins away from breaking the program record of 22 set a year ago.
- The No. 1 doubles team of Schorsch and Emhardt picked up their 19th win of the year and remained perfect in Horizon League play. They have strung together six straight doubles wins as a combo. Emhardt has 26 doubles wins this year, while Schorsch has 28. Schorsch’s single-season total is tied for third in program history, two behind Schorsch and Emhardt’s program record of 30 in 2014-15.
- Gardner and Dunn are also unbeaten in league play when playing doubles together. They moved to 14-4 overall, 9-2 in dual matches and 4-0 in the Horizon League with Friday’s win.
- Schorsch climbed to 6-0 in league singles competition while grabbing his 24th win of the season, while Dunn also picked up his 24th triumph. Dunn and Schorsch are currently tied for sixth in program history in single-season singles wins. Schorsch set the program record with 29 a year ago.
- The Crusaders are 14-0 against Horizon League opponents (including league tournament matches) over the last two seasons.
- Schorsch picked up his 108th career singles win and 110th career doubles victory, while Emhardt extended his program record with his 112th career doubles win.
The Crusaders will close out the regular season on Sunday, April 23 against Detroit Mercy at 1 p.m. CT at the Valpo Tennis Complex. A win will assure the Crusaders their second straight outright Horizon League regular season title and allow them to finish the regular season undefeated in league play. It’s Senior Day for the most successful class in program history as Jeffrey Schorsch, Charlie Emhardt, Kyle Dunn and Dave Bacalla will play the final home match of their collegiate careers.