The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team fell 5-2 to Grand Valley State on Sunday at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith, Ind. The Crusaders excelled at the top of the lineup, winning at No. 1 doubles and the top two singles slots. The Lakers are ranked 18th nationally in Division II.
How It Happened
- The doubles point was closely contested as it came down to a tight No. 3 doubles showdown. Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) and Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) dropped that match 7-5. The Lakers’ duo of Livia Christman and Abby Perkins came from behind for the win.
- The Crusaders (5-7) won the top doubles match with the freshmen combo of Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) and Jelena Vujanic (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) earning a 6-4 win over Aimee Moccia and Alexa Sweeney.
- Grand Valley State (20-3) won the No. 2 doubles match 6-1 as Madison Ballard and Nicole Heiniger defeated Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) and Halle Roach (Libertyville, Ill. / Libertyville) 6-1. The Crusaders were without junior Meg Modesto, who missed the match due to illness. That shuffled Valpo’s singles lineup also, as Modesto was scratched from her No. 3 position, causing everyone to bump up a spot and the insertion of Erin Staal (Grand Haven, Mich. / Grand Haven) at No. 6.
- Staal fell to Heiniger 6-1, 6-2 at No.6 while Kopfer was on the wrong end of a 6-0, 6-1 score at No. 5 against Olivia Hanover. Those matches were the first two to finish.
- Perkins defeated Wind 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 singles to secure the victory for the visitors.
- The three remaining matches went to third set tiebreaks with Valpo winning two of three. Vujanic battled her way to a 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 win over Sweeney at No. 2, while Czerwonka pulled out a 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 12-10 win over Ballard at No. 1.
- The last match to reach its completion came at No. 3, where Moccia nipped Sysouvanh 5-7, 7-6(3), 10-3.
Inside the Match
- Vujanic upped her record to 15-3 to maintain her team lead in singles wins. Her next win will put her in the Top 10 in program history for singles wins in a single season.
- Czerwonka now stands at 13-6 as the two freshmen have combined for 28 singles wins this year.
- Both Czerwonka and Vujanic have more singles wins than any Crusader had in a single season since 2006-2007 prior to this year. Rachel Janssen led the team with 19 singles wins that season.
- Czerwonka is pacing the squad with 11 doubles wins, while Vujanic is second on the team with nine. The two are 5-2 as a pair.
The Crusaders will be back in action on Friday, March 30 at 2 p.m. as they host Northern Kentucky. The match will be at either Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith or the Valpo Tennis Complex, depending on the weather.