Despite getting a pair of singles victories on Saturday afternoon, the Valparaiso University women’s tennis team suffered a 5-2 loss to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in the season opener held at the YMCA MeyerCenter in Edwardsville, Ill.
Kim Sajevic (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury H.S.) won her match in straight sets for the Brown and Gold, defeating Maggie Boeckman 6-3, 6-4 at the top spot in the lineup. Katie Bilyeu (Terre Haute, Ind./South Vigo H.S.) rallied for Valpo’s other victory, posting a 2-6, 7-5, 10-5 win over Stephanie Clark at the fifth spot in the order.
“I’m really proud of the way Katie battled back today,” head coach Jay Adams said. “She battled back from a set down and five-two down in the second to win five straight games and the third set tie-break.”
SIU-Edwardsville (2-1) won the other four singles matches in straight sets. Laura Horning defeated Molly Keifer (Richmond, Ind./Richmond H.S.) 6-3, 6-4 at number two singles while Kelsey Laird topped Jenny Schwartz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora H.S.) 6-3, 6-1 at the third spot. Ali Wulfers defeated the Crusaders’ Christine Antrobus (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead H.S.) 6-1, 6-3 at the fourth spot while Amanda Niebur downed Stephanie York (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown H.S.) 6-3, 6-0 at the bottom of the lineup.
The Cougars opened the match sweeping the doubles point. Boeckman and Laird defeated Schwartz and Keifer 8-6 at number one doubles while Horning and Wulfers downed Sajevic and Julie Wingstrom (Dallas Lake, Ind./Westview H.S.) 8-2 at the second sport. Niebur and Clark completed the doubles win with an 8-4 victory over York and Bilyeu.
“There is lots to build on for us from this first match of the spring,” concluded Adams.
Valparaiso (0-1) now heads to Peoria, Ill. next Sunday afternoon for a 1 p.m. match against Bradley.