Valparaiso rallied after dropping the doubles point to take four out of the six singles matches as the Crusaders posted a 4-3 victory over IPFW on Tuesday afternoon in the team's first match at the Valparaiso University Tennis Complex.
Whitney Chada (Downers Grove, Ill./North H.S.) won what proved to be the decisive match in three sets 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 over Hanna Hager at third singles. The Crusaders earned singles victories by Rachel Janssen (Fort Wayne, Ind./Dwenger H.S.), Kate Evangelist (Glen Ellyne, Ill./Glenbard West H.S.), and Kim Sajevic (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury H.S.) in addition to Chada to pull out the victory.
Evangelist earned Valpo's first point with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lisa Bartelheim at the fourth spot. Sajevic made it 2-1 Crusaders with her 6-0, 6-1 win at sixth singles against Jessica Vervynckt and Janssen put Valpo on the verge of victory with a 6-2, 6-1 win at the top spot.
IPFW's Ashley Coulson defeated Jill Dierberg (Saint Louis, Mo./Lutheran South H.S.) 6-1, 7-6 (4) at second singles to cut the lead to 3-2 before Chada earned her win. The Mastodons' Beth Miller then topped Charmaine Stanislaw (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville H.S.) 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 at fifth singles for the final point.
IPFW (14-9) opened the match with wins at second and third doubles to take the early lead. Janek and Miller topped Dierberg and Stanislaw 8-6 at the third spot and Hager and Bartelheim defeated Chada and Evangelist by the same score at the second spot to earn the point. Valpo earned a win by Janssen and Jenny Schwartz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora H.S.) at first doubles 8-6.
Valparaiso (5-6) will head to Shreveport, La. this weekend for its first Mid-Continent Conference cluster of the year. The Crusaders will open play on Friday against Centenary in a 2 p.m. match.