Valparaiso will be well-represented at the 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Regionals beginning Thursday. In fact, a pair of freshmen earned top-10 seeds in the singles qualifying bracket.
Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) was assigned the sixth seed and will face Illinois State's Rolando Torrellas Thursday in their first-round match. Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) received the 10th seed and will be given the task of putting out UIC's Alan Reifer Thursday morning.
Senior Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley) is paired up against Michigan State's Doug Zade in a first-round match. If Honert and Bacalla both win their opening tilts, the two teammates will square off in the Round of 32.
Sophomore Lucas Waak (Manitowoc, Wis./Roncalli) will meet Toledo's Roberto Meza in a first-round match.
Sophomore Michael Savaglio (Kenosha, Wis./Mary D. Bradford) and Detroit's Bobby Cawood will face off in their first-round match Thursday morning.
This is the first time that Valpo has sent five players to the ITA Regionals.
"We're excited that we qualified the highest number of players in the regional. I know the players are looking forward to the tough competition," head coach Jim Daugherty said.
On the doubles side, the Crusaders will send three teams.
The veteran and the rookie team up for Valpo as Honert and Schorsch draw Michigan's Alex Petrone and Michael Zhu in their first-round contest.
Bacalla and fellow freshman Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) were awarded a 25-32 seed and will face Cleveland State's Matt Kuelker and Manuel Bellutti Thursday afternoon. The winner of that match will get a second-round date with Ohio State's tandem of Kevin Metka and Peter Kobelt, the second overall seed.
Waak and sophomore Danny Oakes (Elburn, Ill./Saint Charles North) round out doubles play for the Crusaders. The duo will face Detroit's team of Cawood and Ismail Kadyrov.
The ITA Regionals represent the last event on Valpo's fall schedule. Strong finishes in the first three tournaments of the season give Daugherty a healthy sense of confidence heading into this weekend.
"Overall, the fall has gone very well. We've found success in each tournament, but also areas to improve. And that's a good thing," Daugherty said.