Valparaiso saw its 2004 season come to a close on Friday morning, suffering a tough 5-1 loss to IUPUI in the Mid-Continent Conference Championship match in Indianapolis, Ind. The Crusaders saw their nine-match winning streak come to an end with the loss.
IUPUI, the tournament's second seed opened by taking the doubles point as Mallory Stemle and Michelle Cunningham defeated Mara Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill./Warrenville South H.S.) and Whitney Chada (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North H.S.) 8-1 at the first spot. Brookley Crews and Alyssa Halcomb closed out the point with an 8-6 triumph over Monika Danko (Northfield, Ill./New Trier H.S.) and Christina Scala (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South H.S.) and second doubles. Valpo's Rachel Janssen (Fort Wayne, Ind./Dwenger H.S.) and Jill Dierberg (St. Louis, Mo./Lutheran South H.S.) led their third doubles match 6-5 when play was haulted.
Stemle took the first singles point for IUPUI at the second spot with her 6-0, 7-5 victory over Janssen. Scala cut the deficit to one with her 6-0, 6-2 triumph over Valse at the sixth slot. The Crusaders dropped a pair of first set tie-breaks at third and fourth singles though, which turned out to be turning points in the match. Dierberg fell 7-6 (5), 6-1 at third singles to Cunningham, giving IUPUI (16-5) a 3-1 advantage. Crews clinched the match for the Jaguars, rallying from a set down to defeat Sonkin 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 at number one singles. Dukeman also defeated Danko 7-6 (5), 6-1 at fourth singles for the fifth point of the match. Chada led her fifth singles contest against Halcomb 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 when the match was decided.
The Crusaders, the Mid-Con regular season champions, concluded the season with a 13-6 record overall.