Valparaiso bounced back after dropping the doubles point to register a 5-2 victory over Southern Utah on Saturday morning as the Crusaders improve to 6-0 in the Mid-Continent Conference this season.
The Thunderbirds opened winning all three doubles contest to take an early lead. Liliana Cortes and Lelia Kanuha topped Rachel Janssen (Fort Wayne, Ind./Dwenger H.S.) and Jenny Schwartz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora H.S.) 8-3 at first doubles. Emmi Nelson and Casie Brooks clinched the point with a 9-7 win over Jill Dierberg (Saint Louis, Mo./Lutheran South H.S.) and Charmaine Stanislaw (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville H.S.) at the third spot. Lisseth Hoyos and Veronica Cortes completed the sweep at second doubles with another 9-7 win over Whitney Chada (Downers Grove, Ill./North H.S.) and Kate Evangelist (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West H.S.).
The Crusaders got things going in singles play to rally for the victory though. Kim Sajevic (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury H.S.), playing at the sixth spot, defeated Brooks 6-1, 6-0. Dierberg added a 6-2, 6-1 win over Kanuha at second singles and Chada also won in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 against Hoyos at number three. Evangelist clinched the win for the Brown and Gold with her 6-0, 6-0 victory over Veronica Cortes. Janssen added a 6-2, 5-7, 11-9 win over Liliana Cortes at first singles. Southern Utah (5-9, 3-3 Mid-Con) got its only win at the fifth spot as Nelson topped Stanislaw in a third set tie-break 4-6, 7-5, 10-4.
With the win, Valparaiso (11-7, 6-0) will look to clinch its third consecutive Mid-Continent Conference regular season title on Sunday as the Crusaders play their final two league contests of the season in Chicago. Valpo will face UMKC at 9 a.m. followed by a battle with cluster host Chicago State at 2 p.m.