Valpo's third straight 6-1 victory secured at least a share of its first-ever Horizon League regular season crown Saturday at the Valpo Tennis Complex. The Crusaders rolled through doubles play before Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind./Carmel)'s 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 4 singles provided the clincher over visiting Youngstown State.
Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio/Poland) opened the day with a 6-1 defeat of Luke Purser/Agustin Reyes at No. 2 doubles. Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa./Greater Latrobe) and Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis./Fond du Lac) followed suit with a 6-1 triumph of their own at No. 3. Emhardt and Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) were in the midst of a 4-3 tilt with Hugo Morth/Matthew Kritzinger at No. 1 when play was brought to a halt.
Bacalla got back on track at No. 2 singles with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Kritzinger. Kissell pushed the Crusaders ahead 3-0 after his 6-4, 6-3 victory versus Purser.
Emhardt made history with his 19th singles win of the season, a straight-set dismissal of Yossi Dahan. The result at No. 4 clinched at least a share of the Horizon League regular season crown. Valpo can win it outright tomorrow (Sunday) versus Cleveland State.
Schorsch boosted his singles mark to 26-4 by virtue of his 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Morth. Bassem El Mekawi salvaged a point for the Penguins with a 2-6, 6-2, 10-4 win versus Gardner at No. 5.
Dunn brought a joyous day to a close at No. 6 with a 6-4, 7-6 (2) eviction of Reyes.
With a victory Sunday, Valpo (19-5, 5-0 Horizon) can run the table in the Horizon League and secure the outright title. The Crusaders have already clinched the No. 1 seed in next week's Horizon League Championship. Cleveland State (11-10, 1-3 Horizon) treks to the Valpo Tennis Complex in a 12:00 pm showdown.