Freshmen Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) and Haile Roach (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) helped the Valpo women's tennis team complete a sensational comeback to down Sacred Heart, 4-3, in Humacao, Puerto Rico on Sunday morning. With the Crusaders trailing 3-2 entering the final two singles flights, the rookie duo outlasted their opponents in third-set tiebreaker fashion for the first team triumph of the spring.
Even the doubles point saw tense back-and-forth action as the Crusaders and Pioneers required a tiebreaker to settle that contest.
Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) and Erin Staal (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) got things rolling with a 6-3 victory at No. 3 doubles over Lindsey Post and Claudia Ruiz. SHU struck back, though, with a 6-3 win of its own at No. 1. Katie DeRienzo and Taylor Gurda doubled up the Valpo tandem of Kat Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind./Silver Creek)/Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind./Munster). With the doubles point hanging in the balance at No. 2, Cary Milanes (Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto) and Wind gutted out an 8-6 triumph in the tiebreaker.
Modesto helped the Crusaders push their lead to 2-0 with a convincing 7-5, 6-0 win versus Gurda at No. 4 singles.
The Pioneers stormed back with three consecutive singles wins, though.
Heuer fell at No. 3 to Olivia Podsiebierski, 7-5, 6-2. DeRienzo brought the tilt to a 2-2 deadlock by virtue of her 6-3, 7-6 (1) defeat of Hebble atop singles play.
Sacred Heart's Paige Olson moved her team to within a point of the team win after she squeaked by Milanes at No. 2, 6-4, 7-6 (4).
Wind and Post engaged in a donnybrook at No. 5. The Crusader freshman was victorious 6-3 in the first set, but dropped the second by a score of 7-5. Wind endured in the tiebreaker, though, prevailing 10-7 in extra time.
Roach and Ruiz were involved in a similar skirmish at the match-deciding No. 6 flight. They split the opening two sets, forcing the first-to-ten points tiebreaker. Roach controlled the extra play, registering a 10-5 win, and giving the Crusaders an impressive 4-3 victory.
Valpo (1-7) will conclude the back-end of a Sunday afternoon in Humacao. The Crusaders are slated to take on East Carolina (6-4) at 2 pm CT.