The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team defended its home courts in convincing fashion on Friday afternoon at the Courts of Northwest Indiana. After downing Xavier 6-1 in the first match of the day, the Crusaders whitewashed Eastern Illinois 7-0 to boost their dual match record to 6-1 on the spring. Senior Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) became the first player in school history to reach 100 career doubles wins with his victory over Xavier.
How It Happened – Xavier
- After dropping the doubles point in Sunday’s match against Western Michigan, the Crusaders created no such comeback drama on Friday afternoon. They handled the Musketeers, winning the doubles point with victories at No. 1 and No. 2.
- Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) teamed with Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) at No. 1 doubles, and bested Xavier’s Jeremy Schneider and Jake Dykema 6-2.
- At No. 2 doubles, senior Emhardt was paired with sophomore Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe). The duo dispatched Xavier’s Matt Bishop and Gabriel Araujo 6-0.
- When the top two doubles courts finished, Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) and Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) were even with Xavier’s Connor LaFavre and Trent Smith 3-3 at No. 3. The match went unfinished.
- Schorsch carried his doubles success into his singles match, making quick work of Schneider 6-2, 6-4.
- After a hard-fought 7-5 win over Matthew Graft in Set 1, freshman Daniel Langston (Ponca City, Okla. / Ponca City) cruised to a 6-0 victory in the second set.
- Freshman Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) captured a 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 5 singles, getting the better of Araujo.
- The team win was latched down when Bacalla prevailed 7-6, 6-4 over Dykema. Dunn added a three-set win over Trent Smith, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.
- The only Xavier win came at No. 2 singles, where Bishop knocked off Emhardt 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.
How It Happened – Eastern Illinois
- The Crusaders shook up the lineup even further for the second match of the day. Emhardt rested while Schorsch played only doubles.
- Dunn and Schorsch won 6-2 at No. 1 doubles against Freddie O’Brien and Gage Kingsmith.
- Redshirt freshman Brian Pecyna (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Homeschooled) played with Bacalla at No. 2 doubles and earned a 6-0 win over Trent Reiman and Jared Woodson.
- Langston and fellow freshman Franklin Brozovich (Fort Gratiot, Mich. / Port Huron Northern) played No. 3 doubles and beat Grant Reiman and Jacob Wendell 6-4.
- The only three-set affair of the day occurred at No. 1 singles, where Kissell rebounded from a 6-3 loss to O’Brien in Set 1 to win 6-3, 10-7 in the final two sets.
- Gardner played No. 2 singles and eked out a 6-3, 7-5 win over Eastern Illinois’s Grant Reiman.
- Langston captured wins in two close sets against Kingsmith at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 7-5.
- Ancona notched a 6-1, 6-0 over Woodson at No. 4, Pecyna defeated Marko S. Janjusic 6-3, 6-0 at No. 5 and Brozovich got the better of Trent Reiman 6-2, 6-2 at No. 6.
Inside the Matches
- Emhardt and Schorsch snapped a stretch of 33 straight matches as doubles partners. Emhardt last played with someone other than Schorsch on Feb. 20, 2016 against Grace College, when he teamed with Gardner.
- Schorsch did not play in that match against Grace College, so this was the first time since his freshman season he played with someone other than Emhardt, snapping a streak of over 100 straight matches paired with Emhardt.
- Emhardt picked up his program-record 100th doubles win, while Schorsch boosted his total to 97 with the pair of victories.
- Schorsch is now 12-6 on the season and has a program-record 96 career singles victories.
- Dunn stills owns the team lead with 13 wins against five losses.
- Brozovich cracked the lineup at both singles and doubles against the Panthers, playing in a match for the first time this spring.
- Langston and Pecyna both made their spring doubles debuts on Friday.
- The Crusaders have captured five straight wins. Eastern Illinois dropped to 1-7 with Friday’s loss, while Xavier fell to 2-6.
Thoughts from Head Coach Jim Daugherty
“We wanted to mix up the doubles teams today just to keep things fresh. We tried something different and I was really happy with the way the guys responded. It worked out really well. We played some of our best doubles of the season.”
The Crusaders will seek their sixth straight win when they begin Horizon League play on Friday, Feb. 24 against UIC at the Courts of NWI. The match is slated to begin at 3 p.m.