Emhardt, Schorsch Secure Return Trip to ITA Midwest Regional Final Match
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Emhardt, Schorsch Secure Return Trip to ITA Midwest Regional Final Match
Jeffrey Schorsch and Charlie Emhardt can advance to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships with a win on Monday.

For the second consecutive year, Valparaiso University men’s tennis players Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) have earned a spot in the final match of the ITA Midwest Regionals doubles tournament. The duo picked up two memorable wins on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

How It Happened

  • Schorsch and Emhardt clinched a return trip to the finals by beating Notre Dame’s Matt Gamble and Alex Lebedev in a three-set thriller. Emhardt and Schorsch captured the first set 6-4, then Gamble and Lebedev fended off a rally from the Valpo duo to take the second set 7-6. That set up a match-tiebreak, won 10-8 by the Crusaders.
  • The senior pair toppled Wisconsin’s Lamar Remy and Chase Colton 8-7 earlier Sunday to reach the semifinals.
  • Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe), the No. 12 seed, saw their ITA run halt after three consecutive victories. They fell to Gamble and Labedev 8-7 on Sunday. Their weekend was a successful one, highlighted by a win over a No. 7 seeded Michigan team on Saturday.  
  • Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) also lost in the quarterfinals, ending a strong weekend that featured an upset of an eighth-seeded Northwestern duo on Saturday. Dunn and Gardner, who were not ranked among the top 16 in the event, fell to Notre Dame seniors Josh Hagar and Eddy Covalschi 8-7 on Sunday. The effort to force a tiebreaker, which was won 10-8 by the Fighting Irish, was an impressive one against the event’s top-ranked duo.

Inside the Invite

  • Emhardt and Schorsch are back in the finals of the ITA Midwest Regional for the second consecutive season. They pulled two upsets a year ago to get to that point, but eventually saw their run come to an end against Notre Dame’s Alex Lawson and Quentin Monaghan in the final.
  • With their 4-0 start to the ITA Midwest Regional, Emhardt and Schorsch remain first and second in Valpo’s record book for doubles victories. Emhardt is up to 92 in his career, while Schorsch stands at 88. They are both well ahead of Nick Vuko, whose 62 doubles wins from 1998-2002 marked the school record before the Schorsch-Emhardt era.
  • Gamble and Labedev were seeded 11th in the doubles draw, while Emhardt and Schorsch started the event as favorites to reach the final as the No. 2 seed. The Wisconsin combo of Remy and Colton was seeded 15th.
  • Covalschi and Hagar, the top-seeded doubles team in the event, were upset by No. 4 seeded Jathan Malik and Kevin Wong of Michigan in Saturday’s semifinal, leaving Emhardt and Schorsch as the favorite on Monday.
  • Malik and Wong, both seniors, tied for Michigan’s team lead with 18 doubles wins a season ago.

Next Up

The winner of Monday’s doubles championship between Schorsch-Emhardt and Malik-Wong will receive automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, the culmination of the fall season that features the top 20 doubles teams in the nation. That event will take place from Nov. 3-6 in Flushing, N.Y.