Valparaiso saw its defense of back-to-back Mid-Continent Conference Tournament titles come to an end on Friday morning as the Crusaders fell 4-1 to IUPUI at the Valparaiso University Tennis Complex.
IUPUI, the tournament's number two seed, came out quickly winning the doubles point. Jessie Ritchie and Tessa Williams posted an 8-1 victory over Kim Sajevic (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury H.S.) and Jenny Schwartz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora H.S.). Andrea Burkhardt and Nikki Evans then secured the first point with their 8-1 triumph over Whitney Chada (Downers Grove, Ill./North H.S.) and Kate Evangelist (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West H.S.). The Jaguars were also leading first doubles 6-3 when the point was decided.
Valpo, the third seed, tied the match at one as Rachel Janssen (Fort Wayne, Ind./Dwenger H.S.) won her Mid-Con leading 19th singles match of the season, defeating Jessica Petersson 6-3, 6-1 and number one. The senior concludes her career with the Brown and Gold with 62 singles wins in her four years. IUPUI took the lead moments later as Ritchie defeated Evangelist 6-3, 6-1 at the second spot. Williams made it 3-1 Jaguars at fourth singles with her 6-2, 6-1 win over Chada and Vanessa Carna clinched the match at the sixth spot, defeating Julie Wingstrom (Wolcotville, Ind./Westview H.S.) 6-3, 6-1.
Sajevic was just one point away from winning her third singles match for the Crusaders, leading Burkhardt 6-2, 5-1 (40-15) when the match was stopped. Evans led Schwartz 6-4, 0-2 at fifth singles when that contest was halted as well.
IUPUI (15-4) will advance to Saturday's championship match at 10 a.m. at the Valparaiso University Tennis Complex against the winner of Friday afternoon's match between Oral Roberts and Western Illinois. Valparaiso sees its season come to an end with an 11-10 record.