Valparaiso University, the Mid-Continent Conference regular season and tournament champions, had five tennis players recognized for their efforts by being named to either the First or Second Teams as the year end awards were handed out, while head coach Tim Maluga was named Coach of the Year for the third straight year.
The five all-conference athletes were a league high as two were named to the First Team and three were named to the Second Team.
Rachel Janssen (Fort Wayne, Ind./Dwenger H.S.) and Kate Evangelist (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West H.S.) both were First Team recipients. For Janssen, it is a third straight All-Conference accolade and second straight First Team selection. The junior played first singles all year for the Brown and Gold, posting a 14-11 singles mark overall as well as a 4-1 mark in conference play. Evangelist earned her first All-Conference honor at the fourth spot for the Crusaders. She went 17-6 overall and 6-0 in Mid-Con play, making the junior a perfect 18-0 in league matches in her career.
Whitney Chada (Downers Grove, Ill./North H.S.), Jill Dierberg (Saint Louis, Mo./Lutheran South H.S.), and Kim Sajevic (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury H.S.) each were named to the Mid-Con's Second Team. Chada, a junior, earns her first All-Conference honor after finishing the year with a 4-1 singles mark at the third slot in the line-up as well as a 5-1 doubles mark in league play with fellow Second Team member Dierberg. Dierberg, a three-time All-Conference pick, went 12-11 in singles action overall as well as 3-2 in the league in her senior year. Sajevic, a freshman, finished the year 13-7 in singles action at the sixth spot while going a perfect 5-0 in Mid-Con action. She also went 6-6 in doubles play, including a 3-1 mark in the Mid-Con.
Maluga was named the league's Coach of the Year for the third straight time as Valpo went a perfect 8-0 in Mid-Con action extending its regular season conference winning streak to 30 straight over the past four years. He also guided the Brown and Gold to the conference tournament title as Valpo (15-7) earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Crusaders will face Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. on Friday at 12 p.m. CDT.