Despite Christine Antrobus’ (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead H.S.) first collegiate victory, the Valparaiso Crusaders dropped their season opener on Sunday morning 6-1 to Eastern Illinois in Champaign, Ill.
“We played a lot better than we did in the fall,” head coach Jay Adams said. “We played hard and kept fighting all day.”
Antrobus earned her first victory with the Crusaders at the sixth spot in the lineup, posting a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Carrie Larson.
Eastern Illinois (1-0) won the top five singles spots in straight sets. Sandra Sasidharan downed Jenny Schwartz (Aurora, Ill./West Aurora H.S.) 6-0, 6-2 while Natalie Martin defeated Kim Sajevic (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury H.S.) 6-0, 6-4 at the top two spots. Valpo’s Molly Keifer (Richmond, Ind./Richmond H.S.) fell 6-3, 6-0 to Hayley Homburg at number three singles while Cara Huck defeated the Crusaders’ Lindsey Gustafson (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) 6-1, 6-2 at the fourth spot. Stephanie Harmazy defeated Julie Wingstrom (Dallas Lake, Ind./Westview H.S.) 6-2, 6-0 at fifth singles.
In doubles play, the Panthers won all three matches. Martin and Homburg were 8-2 victors over Keifer and Schwartz while Sasidharan and Huck defeated Wingstrom and Gustafson 8-0. Harmazy and Larson posted an 8-4 win over Sajevic and Jackie O’Reilly (DePere, Wis./DePere H.S.).
Valparaiso (0-1) will have a week off before heading to Muncie, Ind. on February 8 for a 10 a.m. CST match against Ball State.