The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team continued to show signs of progress on Saturday afternoon at the Butler Bubble in Indianapolis. The Bulldogs prevailed 5-2, but the Crusaders had their most success against Butler in recent memory, winning two singles matches and forcing a third set in two others.
How It Happened
- Freshmen Jelena Vujanic (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / Elk Grove) and Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) played together at No. 1 doubles and dropped their match to Jordan Minnick and Bailey Padgett 6-3.
- The Crusaders (3-2) also lost on the No. 3 doubles court, with junior Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) and sophomore Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) on the wrong end of a 6-0 score against Butler’s Emily Neal and Lauren Marx.
- Senior Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) and sophomore Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) had their match go unfinished at No. 2 doubles. They were trailing Rachel Sutton and Caroline McAuley 5-3 when the doubles point was secured by the Bulldogs (1-4).
- Vujanic nailed down a 6-3, 6-4 sweep of Sutton at No. 2 singles, picking up Valpo’s first victory of the match as the first singles player to finish.
- Sysouvanh quickly followed Vujanic in coming away victorious, besting Marx 6-3 in the second set after a dominating the first set 6-0.
- Two singles matches took a third set to complete. At No. 1 singles, Czerwonka started strong with a 6-4 win over Bailey Padgett in the opening set, but Padgett won the match by winning Set 2 6-2 and Set 3 6-4.
- The other match that took three sets to determine occurred at No. 3. After falling to Neal 6-3 in the first set, Modesto bounced back with a 6-2 triumph in the second to force a decisive third, but Neal won the final set 6-1.
- The match was played on four courts, so the No. 5 and No. 6 singles got underway once courts became available. Nina Bertino defeated Kopfer in straight sets at No. 5 to clinch the team win for the Bulldogs.
- The final match to finish was No. 6 singles, where Wind fell 6-4, 7-5 to Carla O’Bryne.
Inside the Match
- The Crusaders renewed their rivalry with Butler, a team they hadn’t played in women’s tennis since 2012, when both schools were in the Horizon League. This match marked a significant step forward, as the Crusaders had one combined team point over the previous five matches, losing 7-0 in four of the last five matchups.
- Vujanic claimed sole possession of the team lead in singles wins this season, improving to 9-2 on the year.
- Sysouvanh, a sophomore, notched her fifth singles win of the season and the 10th of her young Crusader career.
The Crusaders will remain in Indianapolis and return to the court on Sunday at the University of Indianapolis. The match is slated to get underway at 11 a.m. CT.