Valpo tennis senior Charlie Emhardt developed into the player he is today over the past three seasons as a Crusader; as a team captain, he has showed his leadership skills both on and off the court.
“The great thing about Charlie (coming into his freshman year) was that he was a great doubles player,” coach Jim Daugherty said. “He had won (a state championship) with Carmel High School as a team and as a doubles player.”
Coming into Valpo, Emhardt didn’t have that much experience playing singles. He developed his singles game throughout his time at Valpo and became a valuable asset for the team in singles. Most recently he was a huge part of the comeback win over Western Michigan when the Crusaders were down 3-0 after doubles play. Emhardt and fellow seniors Jeffrey Schorsch, Dave Bascalla and Kyle Dunn all won their singles matches to clinch the victory.
“Doubles was priority for most of my life,” Emhardt said. “I knew how to finish points (for singles matches) in high school, but coming into college I just honed in my skills that I knew (from doubles) and developed into what my game is now.”
As with many college students, there was a transition period going from high school to college. But Emhardt was confidant in himself and the incoming freshman that they could create a winning culture in Valpo men’s tennis.
“The other three guys in my recruiting class (Bacalla, Dunn and Schorsch) were very strong players, so I figured we could start something new, and we were excited to take on the challenge,” Emhardt said.
Being a senior and a team captain, Emhardt has shown that he can be a leader and a role model to the younger players on the team.
“All the younger players look up to him,” Daugherty said. “He’s really good at giving them direction and guidance. It’s helped keep our team closer, and it’s helped with our tradition.”
Going forward this season, Emhardt is looking to have Valpo keep their winning ways. Not only would he like to keep the winning tradition while he’s playing but when he’s sitting on the sidelines too.
“When Charlie isn’t playing in a match, he’s on the sidelines supporting his teammates,” Daugherty said.
Emhardt and the other Valpo men’s tennis seniors hope to come out on top.