Official Athletic Site of the Valparaiso University Crusaders
Women's Tennis Begins 2012 Season Friday
Stephanie  York is the lone senior on this year's squad. (Ray Acevedo)
Stephanie York is the lone senior on this year's squad. (Ray Acevedo)

Monday, January 30, 2012

A young Valparaiso University women’s tennis team is set to take the courts for the 2012 season looking to surprise the Horizon League.

Head coach Traci Young begins her fourth season at the helm of the Brown and Gold, and third full campaign, and has a roster loaded with underclass talent.  Five freshmen and two sophomores make up the majority of the nine-member team, as the Crusaders look to improve upon their finish in 2011.

Stephanie York is the lone senior on the 2012 roster and will be relied upon heavily to show upperclass leadership.  York has played mainly fourth singles the last two seasons and looks to climb up the lineup this year.  She is Valpo’s active leader in both singles and doubles victories, and looks to add to her total in her final year as a Crusader.

The returning junior on this year’s roster is Brittany O’Reilly.  She is coming off of her best fall season since arriving at Valpo and earned the Horizon League’s Herb Foster Sportsmanship Award one year ago.  Over the last two years she has played at the top of the Crusader lineup.

Sophomore Kristin Zakiewicz led the Crusaders in victories as a rookie while slowing moving up the Valpo order.  By season’s end, Zakiewicz was playing third singles for the Brown and Gold and will look to add to her win total in 2012.  Aubree Zdanovec is the only other sophomore on this year’s roster.  Zdanovec joined the Crusader roster in January of last year and played sixth singles most of the season.

Freshmen Megan Barthels and Kaitlyn Hamel look to contend for spots at the top of the Valpo lineup as the spring season unfolds.  Barthels was a three-time All-Conference selection at Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids, Mich. while Hamel was named her conference’s Most Valuable Player as a junior.

Michele Fredlake and Lauren Kammerer will both vie for spots in the Crusader order when the season opens as well.  Fredlake picked up her first collegiate win playing fourth singles during the fall while Kammerer is a local product out of Valparaiso High School.  Valpo’s final freshman, Angelina Goheen, will miss the start of the spring season with an injury, but looks to return before the year’s end.

The Crusaders will open the season on Friday (Feb. 3) with a pair of matches in Fort Wayne, Ind. against IPFW and Wittenberg.  Valpo then returns home for three of its next four contests, playing indoors at Homewood-Flossmoor against Kalamazoo, Bradley, and Western Illinois.

The eight-match Horizon League schedule begins on Feb. 24 at Milwaukee before the Crusaders travel to California for a pair of matches over spring break.

The outdoor home opener is slated for March 24 against Butler with the home finale coming April 15 against Cleveland State.  The regular season closes April 21 at UIC before the league’s top six teams convene in Indianapolis April 27-29 for the Horizon League Championships.

The success of Valpo’s 2012 season will largely depend on how quickly the abundance of freshmen are able to adjust to collegiate tennis.  If it happens quickly the Crusaders could be poised spring some upsets this year.

W Golf Crusader/Jaguar Challenge Valparaiso, Ind. (The Course at Aberdeen)
Apr 13 2nd/6 (657); 5th/6 (692)
M Golf Bluegrass Invitational Lexington, Ky. (University Club Big Blue Course)
Apr 13 t-6th/13 (895)
Softball Cleveland State 6 8 inn.
Apr 13 Valpo 7
W Tennis Valpo 1 Rochester, Mich.
Apr 13 Oakland 6
M Tennis Valpo 1 Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 13 #12 Notre Dame 6
W Tennis Valpo 0 Chicago, Ill.
Apr 14 Chicago State 7
M Tennis Valpo 7 Homewood, Ill.
Apr 15 Chicago State 0
Baseball Valpo CCD
Apr 15 Toledo
M Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
W Track Cougar Invitational River Forest, Ill.
Apr 17 No Team Score
Baseball Valpo 4 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 17 Milwaukee 0
M Tennis Youngstown State 1 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 6
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 18 Milwaukee 3
Softball Oakland 3 VU Softball Field
Apr 18 Valpo 11
W Tennis Youngstown State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 18 Valpo 0
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 19 CCD
M Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 2nd/3 (191)
W Track DePaul Invitational Chicago, Ill.
Apr 19 3rd/5 (82)
W Tennis Cleveland State 7 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 0
Softball Oakland 1 VU Softball Field
Apr 19 Valpo 2
Baseball Valpo 0 Milwaukee, Wis.
Apr 19 Milwaukee 5
Softball Oakland 4 8 inn.
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Tennis Cleveland State 5 Valpo Tennis Complex
Apr 19 Valpo 2
M Golf Wolfpack Spring Open Raleigh, N.C. (Lonnie Poole Golf Course)
Apr 20 12th/15 (314)
Baseball Kalamazoo 3 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 21 Valpo 10
Baseball Ohio Northern 2 Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 22 Valpo 1
Softball Valpo 3 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 1
Softball Valpo 5 Macomb, Ill.
Apr 22 Western Illinois 4
Softball Valpo Notre Dame, Ind.
Apr 24, 5:00 p.m. Notre Dame
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 25
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 25
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 25, 2:00 p.m. UIC
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 25, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 26, 3:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
M Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
W Track Miami (Ohio) Invitational Oxford, Ohio
Apr 26
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 26
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 26, 2:00 p.m. Wright State
M Tennis Valpo Ann Arbor, Mich.
Apr 27, 2:00 p.m. Horizon League Tournament
W Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
M Golf Horizon League Championship Howey in the Hills, Fla. (Mission Inn Resort & Club)
Apr 27
Softball Valpo Dayton, Ohio
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Wright State
Baseball UIC Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 27, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Western Michigan Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball IUPUI VU Softball Field
Apr 29, 5:00 p.m. Valpo
Baseball Chicago State Emory G. Bauer Field
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 3:00 p.m. Indiana (resumption of suspended game)
Softball Valpo Bloomington, Ind.
Apr 30, 4:00 p.m. Indiana
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 2
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 2, 3:00 p.m. Valpo
M Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
W Track Horizon League Outdoor Championships Youngstown, Ohio
May 3
Baseball Oakland Emory G. Bauer Field
May 3, 12:00 p.m. Valpo
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 1:00 p.m. Green Bay
Softball Valpo Green Bay, Wis.
May 3, 3:00 p.m. Green Bay