Valpo Women Split Matches to Open 2012 Season
Friday, February 3, 2012
Valpo Women Split Matches to Open 2012 Season
Kaitlyn Hamel won her first collegiate match for Valpo against Wittenberg at number two singles. (Ray Acevedo)

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.