The Valparaiso women's tennis team got off to a perfect start with wins over Aquinas College and Davenport University on Saturday.
The Crusaders recorded a convincing 7-2 victory over Aquinas in the morning match thanks to four singles victories and a clean sweep in doubles play.
Senior Kaitlyn Hamel (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) and freshman Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind./Silver Creek) teamed up at No. 1 doubles to dispatch Aquinas' Ankita Bhatia/Tiffany Tuori 8-5 to get things rolling. Megan Barthels (Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central) and Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind./Munster) kept the momentum in Valpo's corner via their own 8-5 triumph over Remington Gerst/Rilie DuShane. Cary Milanes (Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto) and Morgan Paras (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard) rallied back from a 5-2 deficit to claim a 9-7 win over Ariana Kabodian/Marjeanne Bothma.
Milanes met little resistance from Kabodian at No. 3 singles as the Crusader freshman notched a 6-1, 6-1 victory to push Valpo ahead 4-0.
Hebble clinched the match for Valparaiso at No. 2 by virtue of a 3-6, 6-0, 10-6 result. The marathon, three-setter represented her first collegiate singles victory.
Heuer made quick work of Tuori at No. 4 singles with a 6-1, 6-1 win. Barthels followed with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph of her own at No. 5.
Paras dropped a close match at No. 6 as Musienko took that contest 6-2, 6-4. Hamel fell in her match at No. 1 singles, 7-8 (7-5), 6-1.
The Crusaders built off their success in the morning to take the afternoon matchup 6-3 over Davenport University.
Barthels/Heuer were 8-3 victors at No. 2 doubles while Hamel/Hebble dropped their doubles match 8-3 at No. 1. The Crusaders earned a point via default at No. 3 doubles.
Milanes, Heuer, and Barthels all tallied straight set victories in singles play. Michele Fredlake (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph's) took the victory at No. 6 singles via default.
Hebble went the distance again in the afternoon; however, she ended up on the wrong side of a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) result. Alyssa Fuentes got the best of Hamel at No. 1 by a score of 6-0, 6-3.
The Crusaders (2-0) will put their undefeated record on the line Sunday afternoon when they travel to Indianapolis to face Marian University. The match is scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm ET/2:00 pm CT.