Crusaders Sweep Sunday Matches, Finish Unblemished Spring Trip
The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team completed a perfect week in Florida on Sunday by breezing past Liberty 6-1 and trouncing Fairleigh Dickinson 6-1 on the final day of competition in the Sunshine State. The Crusaders have now won 13 straight matches and stand at 14-1 overall.
How It Happened – Liberty
- The first match of the day was completed after a weather delay of approximately one hour in length. The Crusaders got off to a fast start by sweeping their way to the doubles point against the Flames (4-7).
- Jeffrey Schorsch and Dave Bacalla were victorious at No. 1 doubles in the first match to finish. They topped Alex Poynter and Diego Castano 6-2.
- Charlie Emhardt and Chad Kissell got the best of Eddie Gutierrez and Vince Salas 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.
- Valpo’s No. 3 doubles team of Kyle Dunn and Brandon Ancona held a 5-3 lead over Chase Burton and Max Borcuti. The match went unfinished.
- Schorsch returned to the singles lineup after sitting out Friday against Duquesne. He downed Gutierrez 6-1, 6-3.
- Bacalla nailed down a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Castano at No. 4.
- The Crusaders sewed up the match win when Garrett Gardner completed a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Poynter.
- Brian Pecyna won his match over Max Borcuti 6-3, 6-2 at No. 6.
- After escaping with a 7-6(7-5) win in the first set, Kissell pulled away for a 6-3 win in Set 2 at No. 2 singles.
- The only Flames point came at No. 3 singles. Emhardt started strong with a 6-0 Set 1 win over Salas, but Salas battled back with 6-4, 6-2 wins in Sets 2 and 3 to wrestle the match away from Emhardt.
How It Happened – Fairleigh Dickinson
- In the evening match, the Crusaders bested the Knights (3-5) in convincing fashion despite holding their top four players out of singles competition.
- Dunn got the nod at No. 1 and defeated Gonzalo Quintana in a tight first set 7-6(1) before pulling away for a 6-2 win in Set 2.
- Another tight first set came at No. 5 singles, as Pecyna won 7-6 (8-6) over Adam Chan in the first set before capturing a 6-2 victory in the second to make it a straight sets triumph.
- Ancona played No. 2 and downed Danilo Vukotic 6-3, 6-2.
- The Crusaders picked up three-set wins at No. 3 and No. 6. Gardner dispatched Pedro Carvalho 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 at No. 3, while Franklin Brozovich rallied for a 5-7, 6-3, 10-2 win over Salomon Koster at No. 6.
- The only Fairleigh Dickinson team point came at No. 4 singles as Langston succumbed to Diogo Garnel 6-4, 7-6(2).
- Emhardt and Schorsch reunited at No. 1 doubles and didn’t skip a beat, topping Chan and Vukotic 6-1.
- Kissell and Bacalla played together at No. 2 and made sure the Crusaders nailed down the doubles point with a 6-1 win over Garnel and Carvalho.
- Daniel Langston and Pecyna lost at No. 3 doubles, 6-3 to Miki Nobuzawa and Quintana.
Inside the Match
- Dunn’s win allowed him to move into a tie with Emhardt for second in program history with 83 career singles wins. Schorsch is the all-time leader with 101 career singles victories.
- Dunn also extended his team lead in singles wins by virtue of the victory. He stands at 18-6 this season. Dunn improved to 2-1 when playing the top singles spot and moved to 9-1 in his last 10 matches.
- Schorsch’s victory over Liberty extended his winning streak to 11 matches. He’s still unblemished in dual competition.
- Schorsch wasn’t the only Crusader to keep a winning streak intact. Ancona has now won eight straight singles matches, while Gardner and Pecyna both notched their sixth straight win.
- Emhardt and Kissell are now 5-0 as a doubles pair, while Schorsch and Bacalla hold a 4-0 mark. Emhardt and Schorsch upped their record to 16-6 and have now won five Sstraight together.
- Ancona’s win was his first when playing as high as No. 2.
The Crusaders return to the Midwest and have some time away from match action before returning to the court on Saturday, March 25 at Youngstown State. The Crusaders stand at 1-0 in Horizon League play after winning the league lidlifter over UIC last month. The match with the Penguins is slated to begin at 2 p.m. Central Time.
Crusaders Pick Up Pair of Sunday Victories
The Valparaiso University softball team closed out its 11-day, 10-game road trip with two wins on Sunday from the Leon Smith Classic in Oxford, Ala., avenging a loss earlier this year to Eastern Illinois with a 3-1 victory and finishing tournament play with a 5-2 win over Alabama State. Senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) delivered her third multi-homer game of the season in the nightcap.
How It Happened – Eastern Illinois
- Valpo threatened in each of its first two turns at the plate, loading the bases with one out in the first and getting a runner to third with one out in the second. But the Crusaders were unable to find the final 60 feet in either inning.
- Valpo would eventually open the scoring in the third inning. Senior Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) started the frame with a single, and a single from Stewart and a subsequent EIU error put both runners in scoring position with nobody out.
- Both Calombaris and Stewart would go on to score, thanks to a rarity – back-to-back sacrifice flies from junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) and sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) – to make it 2-0 Crusaders.
- EIU cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth on a one-out RBI single from Maria Devito. But Devito was struck down trying to advance to second on the throw home to clear the bases.
- The Crusaders received a key insurance run in the top of the sixth, as junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) connected on a two-out solo home run – her second homer in as many days – to push the lead to 3-1.
- EIU threatened to tie or even potentially win the game in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases with one out on an error and two singles. But junior Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) got the most crucial groundball of all, a grounder to second where sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) started a 4-3 double play to close out the victory.
How It Happened – Alabama State
- A pair of newcomers to this year’s squad teamed up to give the Crusaders the lead in the second inning. Lawton led off with a bunt single and stole second base before coming around to score on a single from freshman Hannah Dybalski (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon).
- Valpo added to its lead in the third as Calombaris led off with a single and Stewart followed with a homer to right field.
- The same combo provided the final two Crusader runs of the game the very next inning. Calombaris singled for the second straight inning and stole second before Stewart launched her second round-tripper of the game, this time to left-center to make it 5-0 Crusaders.
- Alabama State’s Kendall Core registered a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut Valpo’s lead to 5-2.
- The Hornets looked poised to cut further into the lead in the fifth, loading the bases with one out, but a flyout to Callaghan turned into a double play, as the junior threw to second to double up an ASU runner to keep the advantage at 5-2.
- Alabama State put two on with one out in the sixth before Montgomery entered in the circle and recorded the final five outs in succession to finish the tournament on a winning note.
Inside the Games
- Montgomery earned the win in the opener with a complete-game six-hitter versus EIU to improve to 4-1 on the season. The junior then picked up her third career save in the win over Alabama State.
- Junior Mackenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) picked up the win against Alabama State as she tossed the first four innings, improving to 5-3 this year.
- Freshman Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York) went 2-for-3 in the win over EIU, while Trepanier and Stewart each reached base twice as well.
- Stewart matched Valpo’s single-game record for home runs with her third multi-homer game of the season in the victory against Alabama State.
- Calombaris and Dybalski each tallied multiple hits in the win over the Hornets as well, while Lawton reached base three times with a hit and two walks.
- Valpo earned the pair of wins on Sunday despite stranding 15 runners on base over the two games and going a combined 3-for-19 with runners in scoring position. On the flip side, the Crusader pitching held their two opponents to 2-for-14 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
The Crusaders (10-4) will return home for a few days before taking on their final tournament challenge of the regular season, heading to Iowa City, Iowa for the Hawkeye Invitational. The tournament opens for Valpo on Friday, March 17 with games versus South Dakota State and Creighton.
Valpo Rally Not Enough as USF Walks Off with 14th Straight Win
A late comeback, strong middle relief work and multi-hit games from three players were not enough for the Valparaiso University baseball team on Sunday afternoon. The Crusaders rallied from down three to tie the game at five, but Joe Genord belted a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to give USF a 6-5 victory and extend the Bulls’ winning streak to 14.
How It Happened
- The Bulls (15-1) got off to a strong start with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Duke Stunkel deflected a single off the glove of Valpo starting pitcher Grant Inman. That was USF’s third hit of the opening frame, and it allowed Luke Borders to trot across the dish for the first run of the contest.
- South Florida threatened in the second inning when Chris Chatfield spanked a leadoff double down the left field line, but Inman eventually worked out of the frame. USF stranded runners at second and third.
- A single up the middle by Scott Kapers, a bunt hit by Riley Dent and a hit by a pitch by James Stea loaded the bases for the Crusaders (6-8) with nobody out in the third. Chase Dawson’s fly ball to center for the first out wasn’t deep enough to score Kapers, but Jake Hanson came through with a single to right to tie the game at one.
- The Crusaders took the lead on a passed ball that allowed Dent to scamper home. With runners at second and third and one away, Nate Palace struck out swinging for the second out, then Sam Shaikin flied to center to end the frame with Valpo leading 2-1.
- South Florida stranded its fourth runner in scoring position in the first three innings in the third, as Luke Borders drew a leadoff walk and made his way to third before Inman induced a Stunkel fly out to end the frame.
- The Bulls drew even in the bottom of the fourth as Garrett Zech stole second and scored on a single by Kevin Merrell. Merrell then swiped second, setting up a go-ahead base knock by Coco Montes.
- Luke Borders followed the Montes single with a two-run bomb to boost South Florida’s lead to 5-2.
- Valpo battled back by scoring a pair in the fifth. Palace rolled a seeing-eye single that scored Dawson, then Hanson crossed the dish as Steven Fitzsimmons drew a bases-loaded walk that made it 5-4. Kapers flied out to end the inning, stranding the bases juiced.
- After two shutout frames from Jon Tieman out of the Valpo bullpen kept it close, Ellis Foreman flipped a scoreless seventh to keep it 5-4 Bulls.
- The top of the eighth inning got off to a modest start for the Crusaders with two outs and nobody on base. Head coach Brian Schmack sent Giovanni Garbella to the dish as a pinch batter, and he ripped a two-out single. Garbella then swiped second, setting up a run-scoring single up the middle by Stea that leveled the score at five.
- Rhodehouse came on to get a huge out in the bottom of the eighth, as he was asked to spell Foreman with two outs and two on and worked out of the frame.
- Genord’s walk-off blast against Rhodehouse came to lead off the bottom of the ninth.
Inside the Game
- Hanson, who was batting cleanup for the first time this year, picked up his sixth RBI, which is tied for third on the team. Stea moved into sole possession of second on the squad with his seventh RBI, while Palace became the first Crusader to reach 10 runs driven in.
- The Crusaders got into the USF bullpen in the fourth inning as starter Peter Strzelecki was lifted after three frames and received no decision. He was charged with two runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk while striking out four. Andrew Perez (2-0) eventually became the winning pitcher in relief.
- Palace’s fifth-inning single was his first hit of the series. He entered the weekend as Valpo’s leading hitter, but went 0-for-9 to start the set before that run-scoring knock.
- Hanson enjoyed his second multi-hit game of the season, while Kapers earned his first multi-hit game of the year and the seventh of his Valpo career. Stea’s multi-hit performance was his third of 2017.
- Stea has reached base in 13 straight and 27 of his last 28 dating back to last year.
- The Crusaders drop to 0-4 in one-run games this season.
- Rhodehouse (2-1) suffered the loss after allowing the one run on one hit in 1/3 of an inning. It was the first earned run coughed up by Rhodehouse all season.
- The Crusaders banged out 10 hits, but left eight on base. The Bulls racked up 15 hits and stranded 10.
The Crusaders will begin Horizon League play against defending league champion and preseason favorite Wright State on Friday. Game 1 of the three-game set in Dayton, Ohio will get underway at 5:30 p.m. CT. The game can be seen on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app. In addition, David Horak and Brandon Vickrey will have the hometown radio call. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Crusaders Allow Five-Run Third, Fall to South Florida
A big third inning for South Florida doomed the Valparaiso University baseball team on Saturday evening at USF Baseball Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The Bulls tallied five runs in the third to snap a 1-1 tie, then held on for an eventual 8-1 win over the Crusaders.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (6-7) manufactured a first-inning run to grab their first lead of the series. James Stea played a key role in the run, as he drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a ground ball by Chase Dawson, stole third and then scored on a ground ball to second by Giovanni Garbella.
- The lead was short-lived as the Bulls (14-1) did their own run manufacturing in the bottom of the frame. Kevin Merrell banged a double to start the inning and eventually crossed the dish on a sacrifice fly by Luke Borders.
- The Crusaders had a golden opportunity in the top of the third. They were handed a bases full chance after drawing three walks, but walked away empty handed.
- The pivotal frame was the bottom of the third as six hits and two errors helped the Bulls score five times against Valpo starter Wes Gordon, chasing him from the game. The first run scored on a Crusader error, then Duke Stunkel connected on a run-scoring single, David Villar ripped a two-run double to center and Chris Chatfield singled to left to score Villar.
- Michael Mommersteeg came in to replace Gordon and eventually faced a bases loaded, one-out jam, but he worked out of the inning without further damage. By the time the inning ended, 11 men had come to the plate.
- Mommersteeg remained in the game for the fourth and fifth and flipped zeros in both frames.
- Dawson singled up the middle to lead off the sixth for Valpo, breaking up Shane McClanahan’s no-hit bid. An error by the Bulls placed runners at second and third with one out, but Joe Cavallaro came in to pitch and wiggled out of the jam.
- Ellis Foreman pitched the sixth and seventh for Valpo and allowed no runs on just one hit.
- Easton Rhodehouse saw his scoreless innings streak snapped as he allowed two runs to score in the bottom of the eighth, the first time he’s been scored upon this season. However, his own throwing error led to the damage, so he still has yet to permit an earned tally in 2017.
- Sam Shaikin singled with two outs and the bases empty in the ninth, allowing the Crusaders to avoid being one-hit for the first time since April 18, 2014.
Inside the Game
- Gordon was hit with the defeat after being charged with six runs (four earned) on six hits and one walk in 2 1/3 innings. He dropped to 0-2 on the year.
- McClanahan (3-0) issued four walks but also notched five strikeouts while yielding just one run (earned) on one hit in 5 1/3 innings to pick up the win and become the first USF hurler to capture his third victory this year.
- Mommersteeg was strong out of the bullpen, going 2 2/3 shutout frames and yielding just two hits. He has tossed 9 2/3 innings this year and has not surrendered a run.
- Stea extended his on-base streak to 12 games, but his team-long seven-game hitting streak came to an end.
- The Crusaders drew six walks in the game, their highest total since drawing seven on Feb. 26 against UAB.
The Crusaders will round out the three-game series at South Florida on Sunday afternoon. The first pitch is slated for noon CT with links to live audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Crusaders Drop Tight Match on Second Day in California
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team continued its spring break trip on a picturesque day at the University of California Riverside on Saturday afternoon. The two teams played under cloudless blue skies with temperatures soaring into the 90s, a mountain backdrop, a light breeze and bright sunshine overhead. The final score was the only thing less than stellar on an otherwise perfect day in the Golden State as Valpo fell 5-2 in a tightly-contested match.
How It Happened
- Randi Wind secured Valpo’s lone singles win of the day, taking care of business at No. 6 singles with a 6-1, 7-6(3) win over Nicole Hitomi.
- The Crusaders (1-9) won the doubles point with wins at each of the top two doubles spots. The dynamic doubles duo of Kathleen Hebble and Paige Heuer beat California Riverside’s Kayla Dulay and Natalie Penner 6-1.
- In addition to winning her singles showdown, Wind made a key contribution to the doubles point as she joined forces with Meg Modesto at No. 2 doubles and defeated Sara Khattab and Tamilla Vaksman 6-4.
- The Crusaders’ No. 3 doubles team of Dao Sysouvanh and Halle Roach fell 6-3.
- Valpo dropped dramatic three-set affairs at No. 1 and No. 3 singles. Hebble won the first set at No. 1 6-1, but Dulay rebounded with 7-5, 6-2 victories to take the match.
- Modesto bounced back after losing the first set to Tracy Van 6-3 to win Set 2 6-3, but then she incurred a 6-3 defeat in the decisive set.
- Khattab got the better of Heuer in straight sets at No. 2, but the match was extremely competitive. Khattab won the first set 6-4 before nailing down the match with a 7-6(0) triumph in the second set.
- Jordan Kopfer dropped her No. 4 singles match to Lauren Wolfe 6-1, 7-5.
- Sysouvanh was on the wrong end of a 6-2, 6-2 match at No. 5 singles.
Inside the Match
- The Highlanders (4-7) have won three matches in a row after a 1-7 start.
- Wind notched her seventh singles win of the year, extending her team lead. She has now won back-to-back matches.
- Hebble and Heuer were also victorious for the second straight day. They extended their team-high doubles win total to 12.
- This was the second time this year Wind and Modesto have played doubles together. It was their first victory as a combo.
The Crusaders will be back in the Midwest the next time they take the court as they visit Youngstown State for the Horizon League opener on Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m. Central Time. The Penguins are the preseason favorite to win the league.
Crusaders Rally For Saturday Win Over Tennessee State
The Valparaiso University softball team earned its first win from behind this season on Saturday, scoring four unanswered runs to defeat Tennessee State, 4-2, in action from the Leon Smith Classic in Oxford, Ala.
How It Happened
- A bases-loaded single with two outs plated two runs for Tennessee State in the top of the second to open the scoring. Freshman Lindsay Zdroik (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward) limited the damage, getting a flyout with two runners in scoring position to keep it a two-run game.
- The Crusaders erased the deficit immediately in their half of the second, however. Junior Brenna Boyle (St. John, Ind./Andrean) drew a one-out walk, and two batters later, fellow junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) delivered a two-run homer to left-center to tie the game at 2-2.
- Valpo took the lead for good in the third. Sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) led off the inning with a double, moved up to third on a wild pitch and came home on a sacrifice fly from senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East).
- It looked like Tennessee State might tie the game or re-gain the lead in the top of the fourth. The Tigers put two on with one out, and after junior Mackenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) entered the circle, an infield single loaded the bases. But Grossmann recorded a key strikeout and then induced a grounder back to the circle to keep the lead on the Valpo side of the scoreboard.
- Aided by a pair of TSU errors, the Crusaders added an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth. Boyle reached to lead off the frame on an error and eventually came around to score on another miscue to make it 4-2 Valpo.
- The Tigers never again got the potential tying run to the plate, as Grossmann set down the side in order in each of the last three innings.
Inside the Game
- Valpo had not trailed in any of its first seven wins of the season.
- The Crusaders’ 8-4 start to the year is their best record through 12 games since 2012.
- Zdroik made the first appearance of her career on Saturday, earning the start in the circle. She went 3.1 innings, allowing a pair of runs while striking out three.
- The only blemish on Grossmann’s line was the infield single she relinquished to the first batter she faced, as the junior tossed 3.2 nearly perfect innings to earn the win and improve to 4-3 on the season. Five strikeouts and six groundouts accounted for Grossmann’s 11 outs.
- Stewart was a perfect 1-for-1 at the plate, as she walked and delivered a sacrifice fly in her first two plate appearances before singling in her final at-bat.
- Trepanier finished 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored, snapping her streak of consecutive multi-hit games at seven.
- Callaghan’s home run was her first of the season and fifth of her career.
- Boyle started at first base for the first time this year and scored a pair of runs – the first time in her career she’s scored multiple runs in the same game.
The Crusaders (8-4) close out action from Oxford with two more games on Sunday. Valpo will take on Eastern Illinois at 10:30 a.m. before facing Alabama State at 1 p.m.
Softball Splits On Opening Day At Leon Smith Classic
The Valparaiso University softball team earned a split of the day’s action thanks to the big bats of senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) in the day’s finale in an 8-6 victory over SE Missouri State, as Trepanier delivered the game-winning hit in the seventh inning. The Crusaders dropped a 1-0 decision to a strong Belmont squad in the opener of the Leon Smith Classic from Oxford, Ala.
How It Happened – Belmont
- The Bruins would score the game’s lone run in the fifth inning, as a single, a sacrifice bunt and another base hit gave Belmont the only run it would need.
- The pitching duo of Mackenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) and Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) combined to strand nine Belmont runners on base, including six in scoring position.
- Offensively, the Crusaders had chances versus Belmont starter Ashley Johnson, putting runners on base in five of the seven innings. Three times, Valpo got a runner to third with two outs, but was never able to find the final 60 feet.
How It Happened – SE Missouri State
- After being held scoreless in each of their last two games, the Crusaders struck immediately at bat in the top of the first. Trepanier singled and stole second, while Stewart drew a one-out walk. After the duo advanced on a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch plated Trepanier to make it 1-0 Valpo.
- Stewart eventually scored on a single from sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) as the Crusaders led 2-0 after the first inning.
- Valpo then looked to break the game open in the second inning. Freshman Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point), junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) and Trepanier tallied three consecutive singles to load the bases to kick off the second, and two batters later, Stewart connected on a grand slam to push the Crusader lead to 6-0.
- But SEMO would rally to tie the game, scoring two runs apiece in the third, fourth and fifth innings to make it a 6-6 ballgame.
- Trepanier delivered the game-winning blow in the top of the seventh inning, set up by a hit batter and a SEMO error earlier in the inning. The sophomore stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and two out, and drove a first-pitch double to the left-center gap to give Valpo an 8-6 advantage.
- The Crusaders had to hold off one final push from the Redhawks, as after getting the first two outs of the inning, a walk and a base hit put the potential tying runs on base. But Grossmann induced a grounder back to the circle to close out the victory.
Inside the Games
- Trepanier went 2-for-4 in the opener versus Belmont – the only Crusader to reach twice in that contest – and then went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs in the win over SEMO. The sophomore has now registered multiple hits in seven straight games for Valpo and is hitting a team-best .500.
- Trepanier also stole three bases over the two games.
- Stewart’s grand slam was the first of her career, pushing her team-high totals to five home runs and 18 RBIs.
- Matalin tallied the first two hits of her career in the win over SEMO, while junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) also picked up a pair of hits against the Redhawks.
- The 1-0 loss to Belmont followed a 1-0 defeat on Wednesday at #9/11 Alabama – the first time since Apr. 13-14, 2001 (both versus Western Illinois) that the Crusaders have dropped two straight games, both by 1-0 finals.
- Grossmann took the loss in the Belmont game, starting and surrendering just the one run in 5.2 innings of work. She then came back and earned the win in relief against SEMO, tossing three shutout innings to close out the game and finish the day at 3-3 on the year.
- Crusader pitching and defense combined to hold their two opponents to just 2-of-17 hitting with runners in scoring position on the day – two days after holding Alabama to 1-of-7 hitting in the same situations.
The Crusaders (7-4) continue play from Oxford on Saturday with a single game against Tennessee State at 1 p.m. Live stats will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Women’s Tennis Captures First Victory of Year
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team entered the win column on Friday evening in Los Angeles. The Crusaders earned a thrilling 5-4 win over California Lutheran, busting out of an eight-match skid in the process.
How It Happened
- Meg Modesto turned in a dominating performance at No. 3 singles, dispatching Annette Sousa 6-0, 6-0.
- Another Valpo victory came at No. 5 singles, as Dao Sysouvanh knocked off Gianna Cupo 6-4, 6-2.
- The lone three-set showdown of the day occurred at No. 6 singles. Randi Wind started the match by beating Shelby Kubota 6-2 in Set 1, then Kubota bounced back with a 6-4 Set 2 victory. Wind captured the decisive set 6-1.
- Doubles was played with each match counting as its own point in the team scoring. Paige Heuer and Kathleen Hebble sustained their recent success at No. 1, beating Emily Werman and Sousa 8-2.
- At No. 3, Sysouvanh and Jordan Kopfer pulled out an 8-5 win over Kubota and Christie Kurdys.
- The Crusaders dropped the No. 2 doubles match, as Sarah Seeman and Gianna Cupo beat Wind and Modesto 8-6.
- Hebble suffered a 6-1, 6-1 setback to Kurdys at No. 1 singles.
- Heuer was on the wrong end of a 6-4, 6-2 decision at No. 2 singles against Werman.
- Kopfer fell 6-3, 6-2 to Seeman at No. 4 singles.
Inside the Match
- Hebble and Heuer improved to 5-4 in dual matches and 11-8 overall with their win at the top doubles spot.
- Sysouvanh and Kopfer were victorious in their first match as a pair this season. Both notched their first doubles wins of the spring.
- Modesto corralled her first singles with of the spring and her third overall.
- Sysouvanh, a freshman, grabbed her first career singles victory.
- Wind notched her second triumph of the spring and her team-leading sixth of the 2016-17 season.
The Crusaders continue their spring trip on Saturday afternoon as they visit California-Riverside. The match is slated to begin at 1 p.m. CT.
Crusaders Can’t Cool Bulls on Friday
The Valparaiso University baseball team ran into a red-hot South Florida squad on Friday evening in Tampa as USF pulled away for an 11-2 victory. The Bulls improved to 13-1 and extended their best start in school history, while the Crusaders slipped to 6-6 on the year. Junior Chad Jacob cracked a two-run homer in the ninth that got Valpo on the board.
How It Happened
- The two teams exchanged scoring chances that came up empty over the first two innings. After Valpo was quiet in the top of the first, USF threatened with runners at first and third and two down in the bottom of the first, but Mario Losi induced an inning-ending ground ball.
- Valpo had something brewing in the second inning, stringing together three consecutive one-out base runners. Jake Hanson was hit by a pitch, Sam Shaikin doubled and Chad Jacob drew a base on balls. However, Scott Kapers bounced into a fielder’s choice and Patrick Donohue struck out as USF starter Phoenix Sanders wiggled away without yielding a run.
- The Bulls left another man in scoring position in the bottom of the second, as a two-out double by Tyler Dietrich went to waste. After Valpo went down in order in the third, the Bulls broke through in the home half of the inning. Kevin Merrell blasted a two-bagger then crossed the dish on a single to right by Coco Montes. Montes eventually scored as David Villar lifted a sacrifice fly.
- The Bulls added on in the bottom of the fourth, when Dietrich delivered another double and Garrett Zech stroked a single to drive him in.
- Kapers started the fifth inning with a double, but was left stranded at third. The Bulls added another tally in the bottom of the fifth as Chris Chatfield lifted a sacrifice fly.
- The Bulls poured on three additional runs in the bottom of the sixth against Chet Joslyn, who came on in relief of Losi.
- Alex Dirienzo worked a scoreless seventh and notched the first out of the eighth. He did not allow a hit and issued one walk while striking out two.
- Garrett Hill was summoned into the game in the eighth and allowed four runs in 2/3 of an inning, but all four were unearned. That boosted USF’s advantage to 11-0.
- The first two batters of the top of the ninth were retired, but Shaikin drew a two-out walk to extend the game and set up the Jacob home run.
Inside the Game
- Jacob launched the first long ball of his collegiate career in his first game since Feb. 26. He missed the last five games due to an injury.
- Kapers’ double to lead off the fifth was his first of the year and his first extra-base knock since he launched a home run on Opening Day.
- Shaikin now has three doubles this year, second on the team behind Nate Palace’s five.
- Losi took the defeat after allowing four runs (three earned) on 10 hits in five innings. He struck out two and issued one walk. Losi’s record is now 0-2 on the year.
- Phoenix Sanders notched the victory to increase his record to 2-0. He worked seven shutout innings and yielded four hits while walking one and striking out 10.
The Crusaders will continue the three-game series at South Florida on Saturday evening. The first pitch is slated for 5:30 p.m. with links to live audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.