For the second straight day Valparaiso dropped a close 4-3 match on its spring trip as the Crusaders fell to Long Island on Monday afternoon in Orlando, Fla.
The Blackbirds opened winning the doubles point in closely contested matches. Long Island (2-3) won at both first and third doubles to take the point, but needed a tie-break, 9-8 (6) to clinch the win at number three. Valpo's Whitney Chada (Downers Grove, Ill./North H.S.) and Jenny Schwartz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora H.S.) notched Valpo's doubles win at the second spot 8-4.
In singles action, Rachel Janssen (Fort Wayne, Ind./Dwenger H.S.) tied the contest at one with her 6-3, 6-0 win at the top of the line-up. For the senior, it was her second straight victory in Florida. Long Island pushed the advantage to 3-1 with wins at second and third singles.
The Crusaders staved off defeat for awhile as Molly Keifer (Richmond, Ind./Richmond H.S.) posted a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-4, 10-8 win at sixth singles while Schwartz tied the contest at three winning 6-4, 7-5 at the fifth spot.
In the final match of the day, Liliana Cortes posted a 6-4, 7-6 (6) win for the Blackbirds over Whitney Chada (Downers Grove, Ill./North H.S.).
Valparaiso (4-6) will look to return to winning ways on Tuesday as the Crusaders take on Manhattan in Orlando. First serve is set for 11:30 a.m. CDT. In addition, the Crusaders have added a match for Thursday before their contest at Florida Gulf Coast. Valpo will face Fairleigh Dickinson beginning at 8 a.m. in Fort Myers, Fla.