Crusaders Tabbed Third in Softball Preseason Poll
Coming off of a Horizon League Tournament title and NCAA Tournament appearance last season, the Valparaiso University softball team has been picked to finish third in the Horizon League in 2017, according to preseason polling of the league’s head coaches.
The Crusaders picked up one first-place vote and totaled 47 points in the polling. UIC claimed seven of the nine first-place votes and finished with 62 points, while Wright State received the other first-place nod and 55 total points. Valpo was picked just ahead of Youngstown State for the third spot.
Valpo returns five of its top seven hitters from a season ago entering the 2017 campaign, including Second Team All-League infielder Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno), league tournament MVP Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and league tournament batting champion Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland). Junior Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon), who posted a 2.15 ERA in Horizon League action last year, returns on the pitching staff as well.
The Crusaders open the 2017 season at North Carolina A&T’s Aggie Invitational Feb. 17-19 in Greensboro, N.C.
Valpo Men’s Tennis Sweeps Weekly Awards
The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team wasted no time collecting its first Horizon League honors of the spring, as the Crusaders swept the league’s weekly awards after Saturday’s 7-0 win over Toledo in the first dual match of the season.
Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) was named Horizon League Player of the Week after starting his senior season with a straight-sets win over Toledo senior Stjepan Sisko, who has earned the Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Award in each of his first three seasons.
Schorsch, Valpo’s all-time leader in career singles wins, won the first set 7-6 (7-0) before cruising to a 6-3 victory in Set 2 to make it a straight sets triumph. Sisko finished last season 25-5, with Schorsch also responsible for one of his losses a year ago. This marks the 10th Horizon League Player of the Week Award of Schorsch’s career.
Fresh off a run to the USTA/ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Championships final match this fall, Schorsch and doubles partner Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) earned the Horizon League Doubles Team of the Week, a new weekly award this season. The duo started the spring season with a 6-4 win over Sisko and Thawin Suksathaporn. The victory allowed Schorsch and Emhardt to avenge a loss to Sisko and Omar Espinosa in last year’s match with Toledo.
Valpo faces a tough test this week as it hits the road for a Saturday showdown with Big Ten foe Wisconsin that begins at noon CT. Links to live video and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.