Valparaiso's women's tennis team defeated Southern Utah 6-1 on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas, Nev. to assure the Crusaders at least a share of their first Mid-Continent Conference regular season title in school history.
Valpo opened the day sweeping the doubles point to take an early 1-0 lead. Mara Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill./Warrenville South H.S.) posted an 8-4 win at the top spot with partner Whitney Chada (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North H.S.). Monika Danko (Northfield, Ill./New Trier H.S.) and Christina Scala (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South H.S.) were triumphant 8-5 at the second spot, while Jill Dierberg (St. Louis, Mo./Lutheran South H.S.) and Rachel Janssen (Fort Wayne, Ind./Dwenger H.S.) completed the sweep with a 9-7 win at third doubles.
The Crusaders then won five of the six singles matches in straight sets to cap off the match. Sonkin won 6-2, 6-1 at the top, while Janssen was a 6-1, 6-2 victory at second singles. Dierberg notched a 6-1, 6-2 win at the third spot, while Chada was a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the fifth slot in the order. Scala tallied a 6-1, 6-0 win at sixth singles. Southern Utah's (9-7, 5-1 Mid-Con) only point came at fourth singles.
Valpo (11-5, 7-0) has won seven straight matches and ten of their last 11 overall. They will look to clinch the title outright on Saturday morning with an 11 a.m. CDT contest against Chicago State in Las Vegas.