Freshmen Shine in Defeat to No. 18 Grand Valley State
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Freshmen Shine in Defeat to No. 18 Grand Valley State
Jelena Vujanic was victorious in both singles and doubles on Sunday.

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.

Up Next

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.