Playing a nationally ranked team for the first time since the 2006 NCAA Tournament, Valparaiso was unable to stay with 61st-ranked Western Michigan on Sunday evening, falling 7-0 to the Broncos in Kalamazoo, Mich.
The Broncos came out strong in doubles, allowing the Crusaders to win just one game. Emily Dudzik and Yumi Matsuto posted an 8-0 win over Jenny Schwartz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora H.S.) and Molly Keifer (Richmond, Ind./Richmond H.S.) at number one doubles while Jenny Nalepa and Kerstin Pahl topped Katie Bilyeu (Terre Haute, Ind./South Vigo H.S.) and Stephanie York (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown H.S.) by the same score at the second spot. Third doubles saw Western Michigan’s Rachel Denny and Maria Nivia defeat Camill Burden (Richmond, Ind./Richmond H.S.) and Jackie O’Reilly (DePere, Wis./DePere H.S.) 8-1.
Western Michigan (11-4) was just as solid in singles play, surrendering just three total games. Pahl was a 6-1, 6-0 winner over Schwartz at the top while Keifer fell to Dudzik by the same score at number two doubles. Bilyeu battled Nalepa to a 6-0, 6-1 defeat at third singles while York fell to Nivia 6-0, 6-0 in the fourth spot. Ashley Moccia downed Christine Antrobus (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead H.S.) 6-0, 6-0 at fifth singles while Matsuto beat O’Reilly by the same margin at the bottom of the lineup.
“It’s not often that we get to face a ranked opponent so it was a good experience for us,” head coach Jay Adams said. “Most of the girls played really hard for us today.”
Valparaiso (1-5) will now head to Florida for its annual spring trip. The Crusaders will return to action next Sunday, March 8, in Orlando against Creighton, beginning at 10 a.m. CST.