After winning the Horizon League regular season and tournament titles and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season in 2017, the Valparaiso University men’s tennis team will receive its championship rings at Sunday’s men’s basketball game as part of a pregame ceremony.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early as the ceremony is scheduled to begin at approximately 2:45 p.m., prior to the 3 p.m. tipoff as the Crusaders host Missouri Valley Conference foe Loyola in a game that will air on ESPNU. It’s also a Gold Out and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day at the ARC.
Every member of the 2016-17 Horizon League champion Crusaders is expected to be in attendance for Sunday’s recognition, including graduated seniors Jeffrey Schorsch, Charlie Emhardt, Dave Bacalla and Kyle Dunn. Schorsch, a three-time Horizon League Player of the Year, is the school recordholder for career singles victories, while Emhardt owns the program record for career doubles wins.
As a doubles tandem, Schorsch and Emhardt reached the championship match of the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships and the Elite Eight of the NCAA Doubles Tournament last year. Dunn won the decisive match of the 2017 Horizon League Tournament, while fellow 2017 graduate Bacalla is now an assistant coach on Valpo’s staff.
The ceremony will also feature veteran head coach Jim Daugherty, who is coming off his second straight Horizon League Coach of the Year honor.
The Crusaders established a new school record for wins in a single season for the fourth straight year in 2017, going 23-4 overall and 7-0 in league play. They will open the 2018 spring season on Saturday, Jan. 27 against Summit League foe Denver at 1 p.m. CT at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith.