After two straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, the Valparaiso University women's tennis team will take to the court beginning on Saturday morning for the fall portion of their schedule.
Head coach Tim Maluga's squad returns eight players from last year's Mid-Continent Conference championship squad while adding five newcomers to the mix.
The top of the line-up will see a pair of First Team All Mid-Con selections in Rachel Janssen and Kate Evangelist. Janssen has played the top spot for Valpo each of the last two years and heads into her final year with a 43-31 singles mark. Evangelist moves up in the lineup after compiling a 51-14 mark in her first three seasons with the Brown and Gold, including a perfect 18-0 league mark.
Senior Whitney Chada completes the trio of upperclassmen at the top of the lineup. She is 18-1 in Mid-Con play and has won 42 singles matches in three seasons.
A quintet of sophomores round out the returnees for the Brown and Gold. Kim Sajevic and Jenny Schwartz each saw a great deal of action in their rookie campaigns toward the bottom of the lineup, and both will try to move up this year. Lindsey Gustafson, Molly Keifer, and Lauren Kloostra each had a taste of collegiate tennis as a freshman, and will look to contribute even more this year.
Maluga, the reigning three-time Mid-Con Coach of the Year, also brings in five freshmen that will hope to add to the depth of the Crusader lineup.
The fall season is a perfect opportunity for everyone to get going, with competition mainly taking place in the form of individual tournaments. Valpo will head to the DePauw Invitational this Saturday and Sunday before hosting an Alumni Tournament September 30 during Homecoming weekend. The fall schedule will come to a close on October 6-8 at the Toledo Invitational.