Valparaiso’s women’s tennis team opened the 2012 spring season on Friday splitting a pair of matches at the Pine Ridge Racquet and Fitness Club in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Crusaders bounced back from a 7-0 loss during the afternoon against IPFW to defeat Wittenberg 6-1 in the evening contest.
“For us to pick up our first win of the year this early in the season is a great accomplishment for these girls,” head coach Traci Young said. “We battled hard against a very good IPFW team in the afternoon and bounced back to get the win tonight in our second match of the day against a team that had yet to play.”
Against Wittenberg (0-1), Valpo came out strong sweeping the opening doubles point. Kristin Zakiewicz (Bristol, Ind./Northridge H.S.) and Megan Barthels (Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central H.S.) shutout Anne Beauch and Leah Ann Miller 8-0 at the top spot while Kaitlyn Hamel (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain H.S.) and Stephanie York (Elkhart, Ind./Jimtown H.S.) downed Georgia Bennett and Jackie Stevens 8-2 at the second spot. Brittany O’Reilly (Green Bay, Wis./Southwest H.S.) and Michele Fredlake (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph’s H.S.) completed the doubles sweep with an 8-3 victory over Kristin Wright and Alex Cummins at third doubles.
Valpo then carried its momentum over into singles play. Hamel earned her first collegiate win, downing Bennett 6-3, 6-0 at the second spot while York blanked Cummings 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Fredlake secured the win at fourth singles with a 6-4, 2-0 victory when Stevens retired. Zakiewicz added a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Wright at the fifth spot while Lauren Kammerer (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) also picked up her first collegiate victory, topping Beauch 7-5, 6-1 at sixth singles. The Tigers’ lone win came at the top of the order as Miller defeated Bartels 6-4, 6-1.
The Crusaders opened the season earlier in the afternoon with the setback against IPFW (1-2). The Mastodons swept all three doubles contests to start the match. Zakiewicz and Barthels fell 8-4 to Frederique Sunstrum and Raquel Vescovi at the top while York and Hamel dropped an 8-1 decision to Alex Forsyth and Anita Henestrosa at second doubles. O’Reilly and Fredlake fell 8-0 at third doubles against Marcy Huck and Caterina Kiefer.
IPFW also won all six singles matches in straight sets. Hamel fell 6-3, 6-2 against Vescovi at second singles while York dropped a 6-3, 6-4 decision against Huck at the third spot. Barthels lost 6-0, 6-0 to Henestrosa at the top of the lineup while Fredlake fell to Forsyth by the same score at fourth singles. Kammerer also lost 6-0, 6-0 at sixth singles against Kiefer while Zakiewicz was downed 6-0, 6-1 to Sunstrum at the fifth spot.
“We need to build upon what we did today and take that momentum with us into next weekend’s matches,” Young added. “This was a good start though.”
Valparaiso (1-1) will return to action next Saturday, hosting Kalamazoo at Homewood-Flossmoor. First serve is set for 11 a.m.