Valparaiso University Sports Update, April 24, 2017

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: April 24, 2017

VU-Womens-Tennis-Honors-Seniors-as-Season-Ends-SundayWomen’s Tennis Honors Seniors as Season Ends Sunday
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team’s season came to a close on Sunday with a 5-2 loss to Detroit Mercy at the Valpo Tennis Complex. It may not be reflected in the form of victories, but the Crusaders (2-18, 1-8 Horizon) showed significant signs of improvement down the stretch, winning at least two matches in each of their last five. Seniors Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster), Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) and Morgan Paras (Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) all participated in the final matches of their collegiate careers on Sunday.

How It Happened

  • Heuer went out on a high note, beating Marie Maitrot 7-6 (8-6), 7-5 at No. 2 singles. Heuer fended off a comeback by Maitrot in Set 1 after getting out to a 5-2 lead, then pulled off a comeback of her own after trailing 5-2 in the second.
  • Heuer and Hebble also found some come-from-behind magic in their No. 1 doubles match against Maitrot and Iris Thioux, winning 7-6 (6-4) after facing a 5-1 deficit.
  • Freshman Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) continued her recent success, defeating Ksenia Providokhina 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (11-9) in a long No. 6 singles match.
  • Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) lost her first set 6-2 then turned around to win the second 6-2, forcing a decisive third. Thioux pulled out the 6-3 win over Modesto at No. 3 singles.
  • Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) moved up to No. 4 and lost her match to Synke Van Der Goot 6-3, 6-2.
  • Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Sun Prairie) fell to Pauline Van Herck 6-4, 6-2 at No. 5 singles, while Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) dropped her No. 1 singles match to Anna Davydova 6-1, 6-3.
  • The Titans (10-11, 6-3 Horizon) won the doubles point as Modesto and Wind fell 6-3 at No. 2 and Paras and Erin Staal (Grand Haven, Mich. / Grand Haven) lost 6-1 at No. 3.

Inside the Match

  • Heuer finishes the season with four singles wins, including back-to-back victories this weekend. Three of her wins came in her last four league matches, allowing her to finish strong.
  • Heuer picked up her 41st career doubles win, finishing in eighth in program history. Hebble finishes 10th in program history with 32 doubles triumphs.
  • Hebble and Heuer took over sole possession of 10th place in Valpo history in single-season doubles wins by capturing their 15th on Sunday. They became the first Valpo women’s players to win 15 doubles matches in a single season in 11 years.
  • Sysouvanh notched her fifth victory and her team-leading fourth league win. She was victorious in the last four Horizon League matches of the year.
  • Wind finished the season with 11 singles wins, the most of any Crusader in the last decade.

Foreman Heaves Complete Game Shutout as Crusaders Earn Split with Raiders
Valparaiso University fifth-year senior Ellis Foreman hadn’t started a game all season, but he sure looked comfortable in a starting role in Game 2 of Sunday’s doubleheader against Wright State at Emory G. Bauer Field. Foreman did make 23 starts over his first four collegiate seasons, but none of them matched the caliber of Sunday’s gem.

Foreman flipped a complete game shutout, the first complete game by a Valpo pitcher this season, and racked up 11 strikeouts as the Crusaders steamrolled their way to a 9-0 victory over Wright State in the second game of Sunday’s twin bill. That allowed Valpo to record a split against the perennial league powers after the Raiders eked out a 3-1 win in Game 1.

How It Happened – Game 1

  • Wright State did all of its damage on Gabe Snyder home runs. His two-run blow in the first inning against Grant Inman started the scoring, then he added an insurance tally with a blast to right off Chet Joslyn in the eighth.
  • Giovanni Garbella lifted a sacrifice fly in the fifth for Valpo’s only run. The Crusaders had a chance for more in that inning, but left the bases loaded.
  • Inman took a tough-luck loss after allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings to fall to 3-5, while Zane Collins picked up the victory to move to 6-3 after yielding only one run on three hits in seven frames. Mark Meyer got his first save with two scoreless innings in relief for the Raiders.
  • The Crusaders were limited to just three hits.

How It Happened – Game 2

  • The Crusaders got all the offense they would need and more in the opening inning. Nate Palace started the scoring by ripping a two-run double to left, then a throwing error by Wright State starter Jeremy Randolph allowed two runs to score.
  • Jake Hanson scored on a wild pitch, Scott Kapers hit a sac fly and Chase Dawson laced a double down the left field line. By the time the first inning ended, Valpo held a 6-0 advantage.
  • Wright State starter Jeremy Randolph exited after three frames in which he allowed six earned runs on six hits and three walks. Trevor Swaney came on in relief and didn’t allow any damage until the sixth, when Valpo got two more to make it 8-0.
  • James Stea reached on an error and Dawson scored an unearned run in the seventh to account for the final margin.
  • Foreman was awarded the win to move to 2-1 and racked up 11 strikeouts while issuing no walks and scattering seven hits in the complete-game victory.

Next Up
The Crusaders will travel to Notre Dame on Tuesday for a game that begins at 5:05 p.m. CT. Links to live coverage will be available on

Women’s Golf Team Begins Horizon League Championships
The Valparaiso University women’s golf team competed in Day 1 of the Horizon League Championships in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. on Sunday. The Crusaders posted a 324 (+36) in Round 1, tied with UIC for fifth place in the eight-team event. Northern Kentucky sits atop the team standings at 304 (+16).

How It Happened

  • Senior Angie Kim (Schaumberg, Ill. / Fremd) carded an 80 (+8) in Round 1. She’s one of four players currently tied for 16th.
  • Freshman Tiffany Curtis (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point) stroked an 81 (+9) out of the No. 5 spot in her first career Horizon League Championships round. She is at T-20 overall. Kylie Shoemake (Schererville, Ind. / Lake Central) was also part of the tie with an 81 in Round 1.
  • Madison McCreary turned in an 82 to tie for 22nd, while Sydney Shrum (Cloverdale, Ind. / Cloverdale) sits in a tie for 32nd with an 87.

Inside the Rounds

  • The Crusaders have four birdies, all coming from different players.
  • Curtis and Kim lead the squad with 10 pars apiece.

Standings – Through Round 1
1 Northern Kentucky 304 304 +16
2 Oakland 312 312 +24
3 Youngstown State 315 315 +27
4 Cleveland State 319 319 +31
T5 Valparaiso 324 324 +36
T5 Illinois-Chicago 324 324 +36
7 Detroit Mercy 327 327 +39
8 Wisconsin-Green Bay 342 342 +54

Thoughts from Head Coach Jon Haas
“I’m extremely pleased with our balanced attack today. Everyone put together a solid round. If we can clean up holes 8 and 10 tomorrow, we have a chance to climb the leaderboard.”

Next Up
The Crusaders will continue the Horizon League Championships with Round 2 on Monday at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. A link to live scoring is available on

Valpo Wins Horizon League Regular Season Title
The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team defeated Detroit Mercy 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Valpo Tennis Complex, in the process clinching the program’s second consecutive outright Horizon League regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament.

The Crusaders finish the regular season at 21-3 overall and 7-0 in league play, notching their second consecutive season without a league loss.

“We’re all elated that we were able to repeat,” Valpo head coach Jim Daugherty said. “We took care of the match that we had in front of us today. Detroit Mercy came ready to play. They had a lot of emotion because they knew something was on the line for them as well.”

Valpo will receive a bye in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament and will play the winner of a first-round match between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in the semifinals on Saturday, April 29 at 10 a.m. CT in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Sunday’s clinching match was intense early, as the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles showdowns were both tightly contested. Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) grabbed a 6-1 win over Kacper Stelmaszak and Adam Zychoiwicz at No. 3 doubles, but the Crusaders trailed on both other courts and needed to win one to take the doubles point.

Valpo was down 4-3 at No. 2 doubles and 6-5 at No. 1, but the No. 2 duo of Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) roared back for a 7-5 win over Chane Conley and Patryk Koscielski. The No. 1 doubles match went unfinished with Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) deadlocked 6-6 with Nathan Ponton and Artem Vasheshnikov.

“The doubles point was a dog fight right up to the end, especially at No. 1, where it was very much up in the air,” Daugherty said. “We’ve got a couple guys that aren’t 100 percent, but our players took care of business today.”

Singles started favorably as Brandon Ancona dispatched Conley at No. 6 in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. Ancona finished the regular season 21-9, 4-0 in league play.

“Brandon was flawless, running right through his opponent,” Daugherty said. “When he came off that quickly, that gave the team a lot of energy. It helped create momentum.”

Schorsch topped Vashesnikov 6-0, 7-5 at No. 1, finishing the regular season at 19-1 in dual matches and 7-0 in Horizon League play. Schorsch did not drop a set in league activity this season, and finishes the regular season with 109 career singles wins and 111 career doubles victories.

“Jeffrey was dominant,” Daugherty said. “He’s been the rock for the team, coming through whenever we need a win.”

The Crusaders also picked up wins at No. 2 and No. 5 singles. Kissell topped Koscielski 6-3, 7-5 at No. 2, while Dunn won the final home match of his collegiate career 6-0, 6-4 over Zychowicz.

“Chad is playing well, and Kyle was very dominant,” Daugherty said. “He had a rough beginning of his second set, but he pulled it back together to finish that set strong.”

Emhardt fell 6-4, 2-6, 10-7 to Stelmaszak in a three-set thriller at No. 4, while Bacalla dropped his match to Ponton 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3.

During the break between the end of doubles and the start of singles, the program recognized its four-member senior class as Dunn, Bacalla, Emhardt and Schorsch played the final home match of their Valpo careers on Sunday. The most successful class in program history helped the Crusaders set the school record for wins their freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. Valpo needs two more wins to shatter that record yet again this year. The seniors have truly rewritten the program record books, as they rank one through four in program history in both career singles and doubles wins.

“I had a lot of emotions going,” Daugherty said. “I’ve enjoyed these seniors so much. They’ve been tremendous assets to the program. The whole Senior Day thing is a reality check. We’re in the home stretch here. I’m trying to enjoy the moment. That’s helped me to sit back and not think too much about the next day or the future or anything else, just enjoy this while it’s here.”

Valpo Second Through One Day of Horizon League Championships
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team got off to a strong start at the Horizon League Championships in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. on Sunday. The Crusaders posted a 297 in Round 1 and currently stand in second place in the eight-team event, only three strokes off the pace set by first-place Cleveland State.

How It Happened

  • Peter Webb (Madison, Wis. / James Madison Memorial) tied for sixth overall, stroking a 73 (+1). He is one of five individuals at the T-6 position, three strokes behind individual leader Kyle Gaines of Detroit Mercy.
  • Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) stroked a 74 (+2) and is tied for second.
  • Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) and Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio / Carrol) carded a 75 (+3) and tied for 14th.
  • Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo. / Timberland) posted an 80 (+8) and sits in a tie for 29th.

Inside the Rounds

  • The Crusaders lead the field with 57 total pars.
  • Valpo had nine birdies in the round, led by Seitz and Webb with three apiece.
  • The Crusaders rank first in Par 4 average at 4.22.
  • Doherty and Wittmann are tied for the tournament lead with 14 pars apiece.

Standings – Through Round 1
1 Cleveland State 294 +6
2 Valparaiso 297 +9
3 Oakland 301 +13
4 Detroit Mercy 302 +14
5 Wright State 303 +15
6 Northern Kentucky 307 +19
7 Green Bay 310 +22
8 Youngstown State 319 +31

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
"The championship has three rounds, so we were pleased with a good start in the first round and we won't make any more of it. The guys are playing with a lot of confidence and we will need to work hard again tomorrow."

"We felt good with our plan coming in to the tournament and how to approach each hole on the course. The guys executed shots well today. We still didn't play the Par 3s to our standards and we need to take more advantage of scoring on the Par 5s."

"Mitch and Michael were very steady for us with 14 pars by each of the guys. Both of them putted very well and their chipping around the greens were terrific. With a little more familiarity on the greens from today's round, we will hopefully get some more birdie putts to drop tomorrow."

Next Up
The Crusaders will continue the Horizon League Championships with Round 2 on Monday at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. A link to live scoring is available on

Bruno, Owen Lead Valpo on Final Day of Pacesetter Invite
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s track and field teams completed the Pacesetter Invite with the men coming in fourth with 58 points and the women receiving sixth with 23 points. Sophomore Alexander Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University) earned the men’s top finish, capturing second place in the 1,500m, senior Liz Owen (Freedom, Wis./Freedom) had the same result in the same event.

How It Happened

  • Bruno crossed the line at 3:57.97, nearly passing his season-best time of 3:55.30
  • The Crusaders next best result came in discus, with freshman Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/Celina) taking home a distance of 162’1” for third place.
  • Sophomore Zachary Topper (Portage, Ind./Portage) cleared the bar at 14’6 1/4" in the pole vault, his first attempt in this event this season.
  • Junior James Sampson (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) sprinted a 11.08 in the 100m race and freshman Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) crossed the line at 22.31 in the 200m sprint, both holding Valpo’s best marks at the Invite.
  • Owen’s time of 4:37.58 was a second shy of moving past her season-best mark of 4:36.15.
  • Sophomore thrower Nellie Bonham (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) led the Crusaders in the shot put (38’5 1/2”).
  • Freshman Anne Mou (Bloomingdale, Ill./Lake Park) garnered two top finishes for Valpo, both in field events. In the triple jump, the rookie leaped 35’5 1/4" and in the javelin she had a toss of 78’11”.

Next Up
The lone home meet of the season for the Brown and Gold is up on the slate this coming Saturday, April 29. The meet will be at the Warren G. Hoger Track.

Upset Bid Falls Just Shy Despite Strong Showing from Crusaders
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team gave Oakland everything it could handle on Saturday afternoon at the Valpo Tennis Complex, but the chance to knock off the Grizzlies came up short in a 4-3 defeat. The Crusaders have made progress in recent matches, scoring two team points or more in each of their last four.

How It Happened

  • The Crusaders started strong as Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) and Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) picked up a win at No. 1 doubles, defeating Alexandra Whall and Amanda Nilsson 6-3.
  • The No. 2 doubles match finished shortly thereafter, as Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) and Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) dropped a 6-3 decision to Daria Artamonova and Sofia Borcuti.
  • The doubles point – which ultimately decided the match – came down to No. 3 between Valpo’s Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) and Morgan Paras (Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) and Oakland’s Samantha Galloway and Marija Milic. The Crusaders started strong, as they were up 40-15 while already holding a 5-2 lead in the match. The Grizzlies roared back to win 7-5.
  • The two teams split the six singles matches, with Valpo’s most convincing win coming at No. 2 as Heuer downed Whall 6-3, 6-1.
  • The other two Valpo wins took three sets to decide and were the final two matches to finish. Sysouvanh split the first two sets with Milic 6-2, 4-6 at No. 6, but then played her best tennis of the day to win the third set tiebreak.
  • Modesto continued her flare for the dramatic, once again coming from behind to win as the last match to finish at No. 3. After losing the first set 3-6, she picked up a tight 7-6 (6-4) win in Set 2, then cruised to a 10-2 win in the third set tiebreak with the entirety of both teams looking on.
  • Hebble (No. 1), Jordan Kopfer (No. 4) and Wind (No. 5) all fell in straight sets.

Inside the Match

  • The Crusaders (2-17, 1-7 Horizon) nearly played the role of spoiler against an Oakland (8-11, 4-4 Horizon) team that is attempting to hold on to a Horizon League Tournament berth.
  • Heuer picked up her 40th career doubles win, ranking eighth in program history. Hebble’s doubles victory was her 31st, which sits 10th in program history.
  • Hebble and Heuer move to 14-13 in doubles this season, busting into the Top 10 in program history single-season doubles wins. They have the most wins in a season by any Valpo women’s doubles players in the last 11 years.
  • Modesto grabbed her sixth victory of the season and her second league triumph, while Sysouvanh notched her fourth overall win and her team-leading third league win.
  • Heuer’s singles victory was her third of the season and her second in league play.

Next Up
The Crusaders will round out the 2017 season on Sunday against Detroit Mercy at 10 a.m. CT at the Valpo Tennis Complex.

Webb Named Horizon League co-Player of the Year, Three Crusaders Achieve All-League Recognition
Senior Peter Webb (Madison, Wis. / James Madison Memorial) received an honor never before bestowed upon a member of the Valparaiso University men’s golf team on Saturday evening at the Horizon League Banquet proceeding the Horizon League Championships, which begin on Sunday in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.

Webb was named the league’s co-Player of the Year alongside Wright State’s Ryan Wenzler, becoming the first Valpo golfer to receive Player of the Year honors. Webb was also a member of the all-league first team, while teammate and fellow senior Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio / Carroll) earned a place on the all-league second team. Both Webb and Seitz receive all-league recognition for the third consecutive year. The Valpo men have been represented on the all-league team five straight seasons.

The Crusaders were also represented on the all-league second-team on the women’s side, as senior Angie Kim (Schaumberg, Ill. / Fremd) achieved that feat. Kim became the first member of the Valpo women’s team to capture all-league honors since Michelle Kleckner in 2014.

Webb bookended a successful Crusader career with prestigious league accolades, bursting onto the scene as the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year in 2014 before finishing strong as the co-Player of the Year this season. He leads the team in scoring average at 73.00 in 34 rounds.

Webb has won two Horizon League Golfer of the Week awards this season and six in his collegiate career. His most recent honor came this week after he placed third of 85 at Ball State’s Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational in Muncie after carding a 209. The highlight of his season came at Indiana University, when he took medalist honors by tying an 18-hole school record with a career-low 65. Since the Valpo men’s golf program resumed in 2009, there have been 23 rounds of 68 or lower. Webb owns over half (12) of those rounds.

Seitz ranks second on the team in scoring average at 74.61 in 18 rounds. He injured his lower back in spring 2016 and did not play in any events in the fall. His return to the course this spring has been a successful one.

Kim finished the Fort Wayne Classic in eighth at 232 this year, helping Valpo to a program-record 54-hole team score of 319. She leads the team in scoring average at 79.55 in 20 rounds. Kim, admired by coaches and teammates for her leadership ability, posted her best individual round of the season on April 2 at the Fort Wayne Classic with a 74.

The 2017 Horizon League Championships tee off on Sunday morning in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Links to live scoring for both the men and women are available on

Stewart Homers Twice As Crusaders Split With Titans
Senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) homered in back-to-back at-bats in the Valparaiso University softball team’s opener at Detroit Mercy on Saturday, including a second-inning grand slam, as the Crusaders downed the Titans, 10-5. Valpo was unable to complete the series sweep, falling 4-2 to Detroit Mercy in the series finale.

How It Happened – Game One

  • Stewart got the Crusaders on the board in their first turn at bat, sending a solo shot the other way to right field.
  • Valpo added to its lead in the second inning, starting with a sacrifice fly from sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) to score junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland).
  • Freshman Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York) did the work herself on the basepath to come home, stealing both second and third before scampering home on a wild pitch.
  • Later in the frame, Stewart stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded and unleashed another blast the other way to right field, this time for a grand slam which pushed the advantage out to 7-0.
  • With the Crusaders threatening to win via run rule, the Titans would crawl back into the game. Detroit Mercy plated a single run in the bottom of the second and scored two in the fourth.
  • A two-run double from Ellie Boteler in the fifth brought the Titans back within 7-5, and they had the potential tying runs in scoring position with just one out. But freshman Lindsay Zdroik (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward) entered in the circle and induced a popped-up bunt before getting a flyout to escape the game.
  • The Crusaders made Detroit Mercy pay for intentionally walking Stewart in the sixth, as after the free pass moved senior Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) up to second with two out, junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) delivered a run-scoring single to push the lead to 8-5.
  • Magnifico and Lawton led off the seventh with a single and a double, respectively, and both eventually came around to score to close out the victory.

How It Happened – Game Two

  • Detroit Mercy jumped on the Crusaders immediately, scoring two in the first and two in the second.
  • Valpo sliced the deficit in half in the top of the third, as Calombaris drove a run-scoring double which scored freshman Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) and sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) came home on a wild pitch. But with runners on the corners and two out, a groundout ended the Crusaders’ threat.
  • Still trailing 4-2, Valpo’s best chance at completing the comeback came in the seventh inning, as the Crusaders loaded the bases with two outs on a single and two walks. But with the potential tying run in scoring position, a pop-up finished out the game as the Crusaders couldn’t close out the series sweep.

Inside the Games

  • Stewart’s grand slam in the second inning of the opener was her third bases-loaded home run of the year.
  • Stewart’s pair of homers in the opener give her 13 round-trippers on the season, just one shy of the Crusaders’ single-season record. She now has 27 career homers, third-most in program history and three out of second position.
  • Stewart has also driven in 43 runs on the year, fifth-most in a single season in program history.
  • Stewart reached in all four of her plate appearances in game one, courtesy of two intentional walks in addition to the two home runs.
  • Calombaris and Magnifico each picked up a pair of hits in the victory and scored two runs apiece as well.
  • Magnifico entered the day with just two stolen bases in her career, but swiped three bases in the opener.
  • Grossmann picked up the game one victory with 4.1 innings of work in the start, improving to 17-7 on the year. With 17 wins this year, she is now tied for fourth-most in a single season in program history.
  • Grossmann has now recorded the win in nine of the Crusaders’ 11 Horizon League victories.
  • Zdroik earned the save with 2.2 innings of shutout softball, squelching the Titans’ threat in the fifth before pitching around a single baserunner in each of the last two innings. The save was the freshman’s third of the year.
  • Stewart reached base three times in the nightcap via walk, while Trepanier recorded a hit and walked once as well.
  • Junior Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) took the loss, falling to 5-6 on the season.
  • Freshman Emily Richardson (Oak Park, Ill./River Forest) pitched five shutout innings out of the bullpen in the series finale, surrendering just two hits.
  • By taking two of three games from the Titans, the Crusaders have now won five of their first six Horizon League series this year. The five series wins matches the 2008 team for the second-most series wins in Horizon League play in a single season, while only the 2012 squad (six series wins) has won more.

Next Up
The Crusaders (24-16, 11-7 Horizon) step out of league play for the final time in the regular season Wednesday afternoon as they travel to Northern Illinois for a 2 p.m. doubleheader. Links for live coverage will be available via

Countdown to 2017 Begins After Successful Spring Game
The Valparaiso University football team held its annual Spring Game on Saturday at Brown Field. This year’s format divided the game into three contests pitting the offense against the defense.

Special teams segments were held between each section of the offense vs. defense scrimmage.

First, the two units participated in a fourth down contest, as the offense ran 18 fourth-down plays from various distances with the defense getting one point for each stop and the offense earning one point each conversion. The defense won this portion 14-4. A tipped pass hauled in by Martin Petruf (Hammond, Ind. / Whiting) for a 20-yard gain was the largest offense play of this segment.

The second section of the game was a red zone scrimmage, featuring six possessions with the offense needing 29 total points to win. Kye Hall (New Smyrna Beach, Fla. / New Smyrna Beach) made an interception on the first play of the first possession, getting the segment off to a favorable start for the defense. The second and third possessions both ended with the defense forcing missed field goals, and the defense forced a fourth-and-long on Possession 4.

The offense began to heat up in the fifth possession, as Griffin Norberg (Sunrise, Fla. / Western) made consecutive receptions on passes from quarterback Chris Duncan (Woodlands Hills, Calif. / Woodland Hills-Taft). The first catch went for 11 yards, setting up a nine-yard TD hookup. The two-point try was no good, so the offense stood at six points through five possessions.

The sixth possession also resulted in a score, as quarterback Grant Papenfuss (North Palm Beach, Fla. / Cardinal Newman) found Ryan Moore (Fort Lauderdale, Fla. / West Minster Academy) for a nine-yard TD. A CJ Elion (Homewood, Ill. / Homewood-Flossmoor) PAT was good, and the offense finished with 13 points. They needed 29, so the defense won the second session.

After the defense prevailed in each of the first two sections, the offense stepped up in the final contest, an offense vs. defense scrimmage with modified scoring. The offense won 21-11.

The defense started strong, scoring three points as Jalin LeAndre (Hollywood, Fla. / Hallandale) and J.J. Nunes (Baltimore, Md. / Baltimore Lutheran) notched interceptions, which were worth three points apiece, building the defense’s lead to 6-0. The defense got another stop on the third drive, making it 8-0 defense.

The offense came to life in Drive 4 as Duncan found Bailey Gessinger (Goshen, Ind. / Northwood) for a 15-yard score to trim the defense’s lead to one at 8-7. The defense inched ahead by forcing a punt to make it 9-7, then Duncan delivered a 10-yard touchdown heave to Norberg and Dimitrios Latsonas (Westmont, Ill. / Westmont) made the PAT to make it 14-9. Prior to the TD grab by Norberg, Frank Catrine (Springsboro, Ohio / Bishop Fenwick) hauled in a 40-yard pass from Duncan.

The next offensive drive stalled as Jordan Goebel (Grand Ledge, Mich. / Grand Ledge) picked up a sack on third and long, cutting offense’s lead to three at 14-11.

The offense wrapped up the win on the final play from scrimmage, as Papenfuss hurled a 19-yard TD pass to Petruf, followed by Elion’s PAT.

The Crusaders will hold their final practice of the spring on Monday. The countdown is on to the kickoff of the 2017 season, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Montana. The Brown Field opener will occur on Saturday, Sept. 9 against Duquesne at 1 p.m.

Crusaders Complete Day 1 at Pacesetter Invite
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in Day 1 at the Pacesetter Invite hosted by Indiana State on Friday. The men left the first day of competition in fourth with 11 points, while the women are fifth with seven points. Jack Mader led all Crusader athletes with a second-place result in the 5,000m race.

How It Happened

  • Mader crossed the line at 14:59.01 to score eight points for the squad. He trimmed 28 seconds off his previous season-best time, taking the team’s best time in the event.
  • Sophomore Peter Rhodes (McLeansville, N.C./Burlington Christian Academy) launched the javelin 124’2” to capture three points for the team, taking home sixth place.
  • In the hammer throw, freshman Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/ Celina) had a distance of 126’1” to lead Valpo in the event.
  • Sophomore Nellie Bonham (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) earned four points for Valpo in the hammer throw, receiving a distance of 145’1”, capturing fifth place. This is her top result of the season, improving nearly four feet.
  • Freshman Anne Mou (Bloomingdale, Ill./Lake Park) ended Day One with a distance of 78’11” in the javelin, leaving in seventh place (two points).
  • Junior Kim Heiny (Burnettsville, Ind./Twin Lakes) paced Valpo in the 5,000m event with a time of 18:44.66, adding one point to the team’s total.

Next Up
Valpo is back in action on Saturday to complete the final day of the Pacesetter Invite. The meet will begin at 10 a.m. CT at the Gibson Track & Field in Terre Haute.

Crusaders Earn Doubleheader Split with Lopsided Game 2 Win
The Valparaiso University baseball team bounced back from a 14-5 loss in Game 1 to salvage a doubleheader split with Northern Kentucky on Friday, winning Game 2 17-4 at Bill Aker Complex in Highland Heights. Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) was productive at the plate in both games, Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) collected six RBIs in the second game and freshman Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) earned a win in his first collegiate start.

How It Happened – Game 1

  • The Norse (14-23, 7-7 Horizon) struck first when Trey Ganns clubbed a run-scoring double to tally an unearned run as T.J. Alas had reached on an error to start the inning.
  • The Crusaders (15-21, 5-9 Horizon) quickly got even as Shaikin led off the second with a solo homer to right.
  • Later in the inning, the Crusaders gained the lead when Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel) stroked a run-scoring single to left center. The lead was short-lived, as Jake Richmond slugged a homer to left in the third. Ganns doubled, allowing another run to cross the plate. Dominic Mercurio drilled a two-run homer, making it 5-2 Northern Kentucky.
  • The Crusaders took a bite out of the deficit in the fifth as Shaikin continued his strong performance by ripping a two-run double to right center, whittling the deficit to one at 5-4.
  • Ganns clubbed a two-run homer to right in the fifth, boosting Northern Kentucky’s lead to 7-4.
  • The ball continued to fly out of the yard in the seventh when Richmond lifted his second home run of the day against Mario Losi (Anaheim, Calif. / Canyon). In the eighth inning, Ganns matched his Norse teammate by drilling his second home run.
  • The eighth inning continued to spiral in the wrong direction for the Crusaders as Brad Bohlen hit a soft grounder to short that went for an infield single to score a run, then Richmond was hit by a pitch to force in a run. That spelled the end of the day for Losi, who was replaced by Hayden Kissee (Indianapolis, Ind. / Greenfield Central [Kaskasia College]).
  • The damage continued as Alas cracked a two-run double, then Will Haueter notched a single. By the time the inning ending, six runs had crossed the dish.
  • Shaikin walked with the bases loaded in the ninth to pick up another RBI, Valpo’s final run of a game that ended in a 14-5 loss.

How It Happened – Game 2

  • A string of three straight singles from Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge), Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill. / Aurora Christian) and Christian Barczi (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) put the Crusaders in business in the first inning of Game 2. Valpo settled for one run as Jacob scampered home on a sac fly by Shaikin.
  • The Norse tied the game in the third as Dominic Mercurio smoked a run-scoring double against Tieman.
  • Garbella continued his stellar week when he unloaded a three-run bomb in the fourth. He entered the week with one home run on the season, and hit three this week.
  • The Norse went to the pen in the fifth as starting pitcher Brody Basilone was replaced by Travis Rowland. Rowland faced only three batters and gave up back-to-back jacks to Stea and Jacob, then a double off the right-field fence to Hanson. That marked the end of the day for Rowland, who was replaced by Cameron Ross.
  • Shaikin lifted a sacrifice fly to drive in Hanson for Valpo’s third run of the fifth, boosting Valpo’s lead to 7-1. The inning kept going as Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) got involved with a run-scoring single to drive in Barczi.
  • The Norse scored twice in the sixth as Mercurio homered and Chad Roberts doubled then scored after a pair of wild pitches. That allowed Northern Kentucky to move within five at 8-3.
  • Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) surrendered a one-out homer to Chad Roberts in the eighth to make it 8-4.
  • The Crusaders gained nine insurance runs in the ninth as Garbella clubbed a two-run double and Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif. / Oaks Christian) delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer. Jacob added an RBI single, then Hanson lifted a sac fly, Barczi provided an RBI single and Shaikin blooped a run-scoring hit. Garbella cracked an RBI double, his second two-bagger of the inning.

Inside the Games

  • Garbella drove in a career-high six runs in the second game. It was the most RBIs in a game by any Crusader this season.
  • Losi was hit with the loss in Game 1, dropping to 1-4 on the year. He allowed 14 runs (13 earned) on 12 hits and struck out six in 7 1/3 innings.
  • JeanFrancois Dionne was the winner in Game 1, boosting his record to 3-3. He allowed four runs on nine hits while notching four strikeouts.
  • Shaikin’s home run was his third of the season, Jacob’s was his third and Garbella’s was his fourth. Stea’s was his third, while Palace launched his team-leading seventh.
  • Shaikin went 3-for-3 in the first game with two of his hits going for extra bases. He knocked in four runs in the opener, then drove in three more in the second game. He now has 21 RBIs this season, moving into a tie with Hanson for second on the team, one behind Palace who now has 22. Garbella also lifted his season RBI total to 20.
  • Tieman was the winning pitcher in his first career start, improving to 1-1 this season. He allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out seven in 5 2/3 frames. The losing pitcher was Basilone, who fell to 0-3.
  • Stea added to his league-leading hit by pitch total as he was nailed once in the first game and twice in the second game. He has been hit 18 times this year.
  • The 17 runs in the second game marked Valpo’s season high. The last time they scored 17 runs was on May 15, 2016, a 17-2 win over Oakland.
  • The two teams combined for 12 home runs in the doubleheader.
  • Shaikin has reached base in 20 straight games.

Next Up
The Crusaders will return home for a doubleheader on Sunday against Wright State. The first game is slated to begin at noon CT. The games can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR with Ben Ariano describing the play-by-play. Links to live audio and stats are available on

Crusaders Take Series Opener at Detroit Mercy
Propelled by a fifth-inning grand slam from junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland), the Valparaiso University softball team opened a key Horizon League series at Detroit Mercy Friday afternoon with a 9-3 victory over the Titans.

How It Happened

  • Valpo opened the scoring immediately in the top of the first, plating a single run as senior Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) reached on a fielder’s choice and eventually came around to score.
  • Freshman Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York) extended the Crusaders’ lead to 2-0 in the second, as she singled with one out before scoring late in the inning.
  • Detroit Mercy looked poised to perhaps take the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as the Titans strung together four straight singles to lead off the frame, scoring one run. But with the bases still loaded and nobody out, Calombaris scooped a grounder and skillfully turned a 5-3 double play to erase the lead runner and keep the Crusader lead. Another groundout ended the frame with Valpo still ahead by a single run.
  • With momentum coming out of the stop on defense the previous half inning, the Crusaders pulled away in the top of the fifth. Junior Stephanie Moreno (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley) led off the inning with a pinch-hit single, followed by a base knock from sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno).
  • Two batters later, senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) drew a walk to load the bases, and junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) knocked a run-scoring single through the left side to make it a 3-1 game.
  • Then, with two out, Callaghan stepped up and drilled the first pitch she saw over the fence in right-center for a grand slam, extending the lead to six runs.
  • Detroit Mercy cut its deficit to 7-3 with a two-run homer from Savvy Ferstle in the bottom of the sixth, but the Crusaders got the pair of runs back in the top of the seventh, drawing five walks in a two-run frame.
  • Junior Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) retired the Titans in order in the bottom of the seventh to close out the win.

Inside the Game

  • Callaghan’s grand slam was the second of her career, following one versus Wright State in last year’s Horizon League Championship.
  • The junior has now hit six home runs this season, second-most on the team. She picked up five total RBIs in Friday’s win to set a new single-game high.
  • Valpo scored its nine runs in Friday’s win on just six hits. The Crusaders also drew seven walks in the victory to tie their single-game high this season.
  • Stewart reached base three times (one hit, two walks) and scored a pair of runs as well.
  • Grossmann earned the complete-game win, striking out five while scattering eight hits to improve to 16-7 on the season. Her 16 victories are tied for sixth-most in a single season in program history.
  • The Crusader defense turned a pair of double plays behind Grossmann on Friday, giving Valpo 21 twin killings on the season. The Crusaders now rank 11th in the nation in double plays/game.

Next Up
The Crusaders (23-15, 10-6 Horizon) close out the three-game series against the Titans with a doubleheader on Saturday in Detroit. First pitch of game one is slated for 11 a.m. CT, and live stats for both games will be available via