In the battle between directional Illinois schools, the Crusaders traded 7-0 shutouts with WIU and NIU Saturday at Homewood-Flossmoor Tennis Club.
The morning victory over the Western Illinois Leathernecks was Valpo's first win on the season and it was done in convincing fashion.
Kristin Zakiewicz and Michele Fredlake cruised to an 8-1 doubles win over Yessenia Mejia and Jessica Callahan in the No. 1 match. Valpo claimed the doubles point once Kaitlyn Hamel and Megan Barthels finished off their 8-0 rout over Elana Berdichevsky and Megan Pazdernick at No. 2 doubles.
Angelina Goheen and Lauren Kammerer went ahead and played out their doubles match, winning 8-4.
Barthels paced the Crusaders in singles action with a rapid 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 4. Hamel quickly followed suit with a shutout win of her own over Ashley Rettger at No. 2 singles.
Needing just one more singles triumph to clinch the team win, Fredlake gave Valpo the W with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 3 singles. Zakiewicz then came in with a 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 1, followed by Kammerer's 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 5. Goheen completed the sweep, taking her match 3-6, 6-0, 6-2.
In afternoon action, NIU get the best of the Crusaders 7-0.
The tandem of Nelle Youel and Arantza De La Torre shutout Zakiewicz and Fredlake 8-0, then Haley Dekkinga and Ilse Pacheco mirrored their teammates performance, blanking Goheen and Kammerer for the doubles point.
In singles play, Youel defeated Zakiewicz 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1. De La Torre cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Fredlake just after Youel's win. The Huskies clinched the match when No. 2 singles player Dekkinga claimed victory over Kaitlyn Hamel 6-0, 6-1.
The Crusaders record now stands at 1-4. Valpo travels back to Kalamazoo, Michigan next weekend for a doubleheader versus Ohio Northern and host Kalamazoo College. First serve is scheduled for 9:00 am Saturday.