The predominantly young Crusaders faced their toughest test of the season thus far and though #75 Purdue prevailed 5-2 Saturday, they proved they can compete with anyone around.
Freshman Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) got the best of 93rd-ranked Ricky Medinilla in a 7-6, 7-6 (10-8) marathon at No. 1 singles. Schorsch led 5-3 in the second set before Medinilla rallied back to make it 5-5. With the score knotted at 6-6, Schorsch jumped to an early lead in the tiebreaker before finally claiming a 10-8 win. Medinilla's late rally fell short as Schorsch hung on to take the tiebreaker 10-8.
Schorsch improved his singles record to 14-5 with the straight set triumph.
Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) won a lengthy first set 7-6 at No. 2 singles over Szymon Tatarczyk. Tatarczyk handily won the second set 6-1 sending the pair to a third-set tiebreak where Bacalla fell in a hard-fought 10-8 duel.
Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) picked up a big win at No. 6 singles, dispatching Lucas Degas 6-4, 6-4. Emhardt is now 3-1 in the No. 6 slot.
Mark Kovacs clinched the match for Purdue with a 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 3 singles over Michael Savaglio (Kenosha, Wis./Mary D. Bradford). Mateus Silva took the first singles match of the afternoon 6-0, 6-2 over Michael Baiocchi (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley).
Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley) dropped a 6-2, 6-2 decision at No. 4 to Diego Acosta.
Overall, the Crusaders have posted a 6-1 record at No. 1, 2, 5, and 6 singles.
In doubles play, Bacalla and Daniel Oakes (Elburn, Ill./Saint Charles North) were on the wrong end of an 8-1 match at No. 1 doubles.
The doubles point went Purdue's way when Kovacs/Silva doubled up Honert and Lucas Waak (Manitowoc, Wis./Roncalli) 8-4 at No. 3.
Schorsch and Emhardt were ahead 6-5 at No. 2 doubles when the Boilermakers had clinched the doubles point.
"Our guys fought hard all day. They showed a lot of fire," head coach Jim Daugherty said.
Valpo (5-2) will get right back at it Sunday afternoon when it hosts South Dakota State at 2:00 pm at The Courts of NWI.