The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team flashed a flair for the dramatic on Friday afternoon at the Valpo Tennis Complex, starting the holiday weekend with a heart-pounding 4-3 victory over Green Bay. The match came down to No. 3 singles, where Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) picked up Valpo’s most memorable victory of the season to clinch the team win.
How It Happened
- The match between Modesto and Green Bay’s Olivia Headford was delayed in the first set due to an injury to Headford, who was eventually able to continue. Because of the delay, the match went far longer than every other court, leading to a climactic finish with every player, coach and fan from both teams looking on.
- Modesto came from behind to win the first set 7-6 (6-4), then rode that momentum to a 6-1 win in Set 2, sending Valpo players and supporters into a state of jubilation.
- The Crusaders (2-14, 1-5 Horizon) had to win four of the six singles matches to pick up the victory after dropping the doubles point. Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) and Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) rolled to a 6-1 win over Samm Pedersen and Theresa Tebon at No. 1 doubles, but Valpo fell to Green Bay (2-12, 0-6) at the other two spots.
- Jule-Sophie Hermann and Chiara Berg earned a narrow 7-5 win over Valpo’s Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) and Morgan Paras (Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) at No. 3 doubles, leaving the point hinging on No. 2, which went to a tiebreak. Tallie Piaskowski and Headford pulled out the 7-6 win for the Phoenix against Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) and Modesto.
- Every singles match was decided in straight sets. Valpo’s bottom of the lineup turned in strong performances, one of which came from freshman Sysouvanh, who bested Tebon 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5. Wind was also victorious, beating Pederson 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6.
- The top two singles spots were split, with Valpo winning at No. 2 as Heuer topped Hermann 6-2, 6-2 and losing at No. 1 as Hebble fell to Berg 6-0, 7-5. Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) dropped her No. 4 singles match with Piaskowski 6-3, 6-2, leaving No. 3 singles as the match-decider.
Inside the Match
- This marks the fourth straight year the Crusaders have beaten the Phoenix.
- Hebble picked up her 30th career doubles victory, while Heuer notched her 39th. Hebble ranks 10th in program history in career doubles wins, while Heuer sits in eighth in Valpo history.
- Hebble and Heuer increased their season doubles win total to 13. They need one more doubles win to move into Valpo’s all-time single-season Top 10.
- Wind’s win at No. 6 was her team-leading ninth of the season. She already has 15 career singles wins as only a sophomore.
- Sysouvanh, Modesto and Heuer all earned their first Horizon League singles victories of the season. For Sysouvanh, a freshman, this marked her first career league victory and second career win overall. Modesto boosted her season win total to four and Heuer corralled her second victory and her first in dual play.
The Crusaders don’t have much time to bask in the glory of Friday’s win, as they take the court again on Saturday against Milwaukee at 12:30 p.m. CT. The Panthers are coming off a 4-3 loss to UIC on Friday and stand at 8-12 overall, 2-4 in Horizon League play.