Valparaiso University Sports Update, March 16, 2017

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: March 16, 2017

VU-Crusaders-Finish-Bash-at-the-Beach-with-Strong-RoundCrusaders Finish Bash at the Beach with Strong Round
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team close out the Bash at the Beach in impressive fashion on Tuesday at The Surf Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Crusaders stroked a 291, the third-best Round 3 score in the 16-team field. Valpo finished the event in ninth place with a 54-hole score of 900.

How It Happened

  • Zach Cutler put together an impressive third round, trimming 10 strokes off his Round 2 score to post a team-best 70 on the final day of competition. He finished the three-round event at 230, which put him tied for 58th.
  • Peter Webb led the way in the event by stroking a 71 in Round 3. He finished the event with a team-best score of 220, putting him in a tie for 14th overall.
  • Nick Seitz followed closely behind Webb with a 73 in Round 3 and a 222 overall. He finished in a tie for 20th in the event.
  • Adam Baracani sustained his consistency on the second day of competition, stroking a 77, identical to his second-round score. He finished the event at 230, tied for 41st.
  • Mitchell Wittmann posted a 92 on Tuesday to finish at 253 in 89th place.
  • Jeremy Wu golfed as an individual and had his best round of the tournament, stroking a 78. His total score of 236 allowed him to finish in a tie for 65th.

Inside the Rounds

  • The team score of 291 in Round 3 marked Valpo’s second-best round of the season, eclipsed only by a 286 in Round 2 of the Golfweek Program Challenge on Sept. 12.
  • Wu, a freshman, turned in a 78, the best round of his young Crusader career.
  • The Crusaders finished a full 17 strokes ahead of Fairleigh Dickinson for ninth and just seven strokes in back of Appalachian State and Horizon-League foe Wright State, who tied for seventh.
  • Oakland, the third Horizon League participant in the event, posted an 887 to finish fifth.
  • South Carolina Beaufort won the meet at 874, edging out second-place George Washington by one stroke.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
"Our team is focusing and building on the positives during this spring season and we had a number of positive results from our second tournament of the spring season. Three of our six players had their best tournament of the year, our team scoring improved steadily all three rounds for the second consecutive tournament and we had our best finish of the year in a round, shooting three under par for our final nine holes today."

"The conditions were challenging for half of the tournament and the guys responded well, playing very focused and keeping a good attitude during the entire tournament. They have put a lot of work in during our offseason and we are just starting to see some of the fruits of those labors. We can feel some nice momentum going in to our next event."

Next Up
The Crusaders will return to the course on Monday, March 20 as they partake in the Twin Oaks Intercollegiate at Twin Oaks C.C. in Springfield, Mo.

Valpo Sweeps Weekly Men’s Tennis Awards
Following a successful spring break trip to the state of Florida, the Valparaiso University men’s tennis team swept the Horizon League weekly awards, as announced by the league office on Tuesday.

Kyle Dunn was honored as the Singles Player of the Week, while Charlie Emhardt and Jeffrey Schorsch were recognized as the league’s top doubles combo this week.

Dunn completed a 3-0 week by stepping into the No. 1 singles spot and beating Fairleigh Dickinson’s Gonzalo Quintana 7-6(1), 6-2 on Sunday. This came after Dunn had notched straight set wins against Saint Leo on Wednesday and Duquesne on Friday. Dunn's win on Sunday allowed him to move into a tie with Emhardt for second in program history with 83 career singles wins. He also extended his team lead in singles victories as he now stands at 18-6 on the year, 9-1 in his last 10 matches.

Valpo's No. 1 doubles team has played together off and on this season amidst lineup shuffling and experimentation. Whenever the duo plays together, it doesn't miss a beat. Schorsch and Emhardt, ranked No. 10 in the nation in the latest Oracle/ITA Division I Collegiate Doubles Rankings, played together twice this week and rolled to easy victories. They beat Saint Leo's top doubles team 6-3 on Wednesday before topping Fairleigh Dickinson's No. 1 doubles tandem 6-1 on Sunday. The play of Valpo's No. 1 doubles team has set the tone for team success, as the Crusaders stand at 14-1 and have won 13 straight matches.

The Crusaders continue to rack up weekly awards. They’ve won four Player of the Week awards and four Doubles Team of the Week awards in the first eight weeks of the season.

Valpo has some time away from match activity before resuming Horizon League play on Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m. at Youngstown State.

Webb, Seitz Lead Crusaders on Day 1 in Myrtle Beach
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team stands in 10th place of 16 teams after one day of competition in the Bash at the Beach at The Surf Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Crusaders carded a 307 in the opening round, before trimming five strokes off their team score by posting a 302 in Round 2. Valpo battled through adverse weather conditions, as rain and wind played a factor throughout the day.

How It Happened

  • The Crusaders were led by Peter Webb and Nick Seitz. Webb carded a 73 in the first round and followed with a 76 in Round 2 for a 36-hole score of 149.
  • Seitz shared the team lead with Webb. He stroked a 74 in Round 1 before notching a 75 in the second round.
  • Adam Baracani is third on the team with a 153 after one day of competition. He posted a 76 in Round 1 before notching a 77 in Round 2.
  • After carding an 87 in the first round, Mitchell Wittmann made a drastic improvement in the second round. He notched a 74, the best Round 2 score of any Crusader, for a total score of 161.
  • Zach Cutler also improved in Round 2, trimming four strokes from his Round 1 score of 84 for a Day 1 score of 164.
  • Jeremy Wu competed as an individual and had an impressive day. He totaled a 158 after carding a 79 in both of Monday’s rounds.

Inside the Rounds

  • Seitz’s 74 matched his lowest round of the season. He sat out the fall due to injury.
  • Wu’s 79 shattered his previous season best of 85. He’s a freshman, so his rounds marked new career watermarks.
  • The Crusaders are three strokes behind Fairleigh Dickinson for ninth and five strokes ahead of Colgate for 10th.
  • There are two other Horizon League schools in the field. Oakland is tied for second at 583, while Wright State sits in eighth place at 596.
  • Wittmann’s 13-stroke improvement from the first round to the second round was the biggest improvement of anyone in the 96-player field.
  • Seitz led the Crusaders with five birdies, while the team finished with 14 total.

Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
"We had improvement today over our first tournament of the spring two weeks ago and we will continue to build on that as we progress through the early part of our spring season. Our shot execution was better today, but we still need to convert more of our birdie opportunities and work on our proximity to the hole with our approach shots."

"I was very pleased with the improvement in our second-round scoring, especially when you take into account playing through a steady rain the entire 18 holes. The second round became an endurance test when you factor in spending almost 12 hours on the golf course and concentrating through wind and rain. We had a good practice round yesterday in even worse weather, so that helped us persevere through today's round."

"Pete and Nick had a decent ball-striking day and they both were pretty close to making a number of more birdies. The greens were rolling very well and we simply need to improve on making more of those birdie putts within 10 feet. Both of the guys put in a strong effort today with the inclement weather and we will look forward to tomorrow's round."

Next Up
The Crusaders will play the final 18 holes of the Bash at the Beach on Tuesday at The Surf Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C. A link to live stats is available on ValpoAthletics.com.

Montgomery Earns Horizon League Pitcher of the Week Honor
Valparaiso University junior pitcher Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) has been tabbed the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending March 12 following a number of strong performances in the circle last week, including one of the best efforts of the season against a top-10 Alabama squad.

Montgomery opened the week by drawing the starting assignment against #9/11 Alabama in Tuscaloosa and delivered one of the top outings of her career. The junior limited the Crimson Tide to just four hits and one run, blanking Alabama over the final five innings of a hard-luck 1-0 loss. Alabama entered the game hitting .336 and averaging nearly six runs per game, and went on to score 18 runs in a three-game sweep of #24 Arkansas in SEC play his weekend.

Montgomery went on to have a stellar weekend at the Leon Smith Classic in Oxford, Ala., allowing just two earned runs over four games. She had a four-out scoreless relief outing March 10 against Belmont before surrendering just one earned run apiece in wins over SE Missouri State and Eastern Illinois – the latter a complete-game six-hitter. Montgomery closed the weekend by registering the final five outs in succession to earn a save in Valpo’s win over Alabama State.

For the week, Montgomery went 1-1 with one save in five appearances, posting a sterling 1.11 ERA while allowing batters to hit just .229 against her – including just two extra-base hits. She has lowered her season ERA to 1.75 while appearing in 12 of Valpo’s first 14 games this season.