Valpo In The Valley: Women's Swimming/Women's Tennis


Valpo In The Valley: Women's Swimming/Women's Tennis
Monday, July 31, 2017

Continuing the #ValpoInTheValley series, which will take a look at each of the Missouri Valley Conference’s 17 sports, are women’s tennis and women’s swimming. Learn about the landscape of The Valley in the pair of sports and hear from swimming head coach Howard Hunte as he talks about what his program is looking forward to entering the first season of MVC competition and who will lead the way for the Crusaders in 2017-18.

MVC Women’s Tennis

Eight MVC member institutions sponsor women’s tennis in The Valley. Valpo will join Bradley, Drake, Evansville, Illinois State, Missouri State, UNI and Southern Illinois in women’s tennis competition during the 2017-18 season.

A Look Back at 2016-17

MVC Regular Season 

Team

MVC

Wichita State

7-0

Evansville

5-2

Illinois State

5-2

Southern Illinois

5-2

Bradley

2-5

Drake

2-5

Missouri State

1-6

UNI

1-6

MVC Team Championship

April 30, 2017 – Normal, Ill. – Wichita State 4, Southern Illinois 0

NCAA Tournament

First round – Stillwater, Okla. – Arkansas 4, Wichita State 2

MVC Individual Championship

Oct. 10, 2016 – Evansville, Ind. – No. 1 singles champion – Tanaporn Thongsing, Wichita State

No. 1 doubles champions - Veronika Golanova/Marcia Tere-Apisah, Illinois State

Valparaiso

The Crusader women’s tennis program showed marked improvement as the season went on, as the team took at least two points in each of its last five matches of the season – including a 4-3 victory over Green Bay.

The doubles duo of graduated seniors Kathleen Hebble and Paige Heuer stood out, posting 15 wins on the year while playing the entire season at no. 1 doubles.

On the singles side, rising junior Randi Wind captured a team-best 11 wins last year, while rising sophomore Dao Sysouvanh won four Horizon League singles matches.

The Crusaders were also successful off the court as well, finishing the school year with a 3.71 cumulative GPA – the best of any Valpo program.

The Valley on the National Stage

The departure of Wichita State from The Valley leaves the women’s tennis landscape wide open, as the Shockers had dominated in MVC play over the last decade.

Wichita State departed the conference having not dropped a match in MVC play since 2008. The Shockers represented The Valley in the NCAA Tournament each of the last nine seasons and in 11 of the last 12 years, and also owned The Valley’s lone win in NCAA Tournament action – a 4-3 win over South Carolina in 2007.

Wichita State also boasted the conference’s last individual qualifier for NCAA action, as the Shockers’ Gabriela Porubin earned a spot in the singles draw of the national tournament in 2016.

Looking Ahead to 2017-18

The Valley plays a full round-robin schedule in women’s tennis, so the Crusaders will match up with each of the other seven conference schools during the regular season slate.

A new wrinkle for Valpo this season will be the addition of an individual conference championship tournament, as The Valley has contested an individual championship since 1983. The MVC holds its individual championship in the fall, with this fall’s tournament slated for Oct. 7-9, 2017 in Normal, Ill.

The team championship will be held Apr. 27-29, 2018 in Springfield, Mo.

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MVC Women’s Swimming

Valpo will join six other MVC full member institutions as sponsors of women’s swimming. Evansville, Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State, UNI and Southern Illinois all sponsor swimming in addition to the Crusaders, while Arkansas-Little Rock competes as an affiliate member in the sport as well.

A Look Back at 2016-17

MVC Championship 

Team

Points

Missouri State

832.5

Southern Illinois

649

UNI

615

Illinois State

390.5

Evansville

365

Little Rock

303

Indiana State

148

Specialty Award Winners

Swimmer of the Year: Lauren Pavel, Missouri State
Diver of the Year: Courtney Coverdale, Evansville

Valparaiso

A number of Crusaders posted times among the best in program history during the 2016-17 season, highlighted by rising sophomore Paige Wright breaking a 24-year-old program record in the 100 backstroke.

Two other rising sophomores moved into Valpo’s all-time top-10 in three separate events. Tara Lawson ranks fifth in program history in the 100 backstroke, sixth in the 200 back and ninth in the 200 individual medley. Meanwhile, Erica Martins finished her first season as a Crusader already eighth in program history in the 50 freestyle, 10th in the 100 butterfly and 10th in the 200 fly.

Another rising sophomore, Emily Baumgartner, ended her rookie year at Valpo 10th in program history in both the 100 breaststroke and the 200 breaststroke.

Looking Ahead to 2017-18

Valpo will compete in its first MVC women’s swimming and diving championship from Feb. 14-17, 2018 in Iowa City, Iowa with UNI serving as host for the four-day meet.