The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team started the weekend off right on Friday at Middle Tennessee State’s Adams Tennis Complex in Murfreesboro, Tenn., winning a neutral-site match against the University of Alabama-Birmingham 4-2. The win allowed the Crusaders to extend their impressive winning streak to 16 and boost their overall record to 17-1, while UAB fell to 9-7.
How It Happened
- Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) and Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) dispatched Kenton Parton and Anru Fourie 6-2 at No. 1 singles in quick fashion.
- Kyle Dunn (Fund du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) cruised by Eric Komati and Nikolai Manchev at No. 3 singles, winning 6-0 to nail down the doubles point.
- The No. 2 doubles match went unfinished with Valpo’s Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) and Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) leading UAB’s Tim Dollman and Stefan Gonzalez 5-4.
- Bacalla was the first singles player to finish, beating Manchev 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4.
- Schorsch enjoyed yet another straight-sets win at No. 1, downing Dollman 6-4, 6-2.
- Komati, a senior from Sao Paulo, Brazil who started his career at Fresno State, was victorious 6-3, 6-2 over Kissell at No. 2.
- The Crusaders also dropped a match at No. 6 singles, as Parton outdid Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) 6-3, 6-1.
- With Valpo holding a narrow 3-2 edge in the team score, and Dunn trailing his match at No. 5 singles, Emhardt came through a crucial situation at No. 3 singles. He capped off a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Gonzalez, clinching the match for the Crusaders.
- The two teams played a clinch-clinch match, so Dunn’s dual with Fourie at No. 5 singles went unfinished. Dunn dropped the first set 6-4 and trailed the second 4-2.
Inside the Match
- The Crusaders now have wins over teams from eight different Division-I conferences this season – Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Horizon League, the Big East, the Ohio Valley Conference, the Colonial Athletic Association, the Atlantic 10 and the Northeast Conference. They also have a close loss to Big Ten foe Wisconsin, a team that is currently ranked 30th nationally and a win over the No. 2 ranked Division-II team in the country (Saint Leo).
- Schorsch has won 14 straight matches and has not dropped a set all spring. He now has 104 career singles wins, while Emhardt pulled ahead of Dunn for second in Valpo history by notching his 86th career singles triumph.
- Ancona’s defeat snapped his streak of nine straight singles wins.
- Schorsch earned his 106th career doubles win as Schorsch and Bacalla improved to 5-0 as a combo. It was Bacalla’s 72nd career doubles win, third in program history behind Emhardt and Schorsch.
- This was the first time in the last five matches and just the second time in the last 13 matches that an opponent scored two team points against the Crusaders.
The Crusaders will continue the Middle Tennessee State Shootout on Saturday as they compete in a 2 p.m. CT match against the host Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee State is another Conference USA opponent and stands at 7-11 this year. Live stats will be available for Saturday’s match. The link can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.