Sophomore Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) was the star of the day on Saturday, headlining a quality effort for a shorthanded Valparaiso University women’s tennis team. Czerwonka picked up wins in singles and doubles in a 6-1 victory for visiting UIC.
How It Happened
- Valpo’s No. 1 doubles team set the tone for the day with a quality effort against UIC’s Karyna Bihel and Rachel Le Comer. The Valpo combo of Czerwonka and freshman Isabella Schoolcraft (Bargersville, Ind. / Center Grove) prevailed 6-4 in a competitive match.
- Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) and Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) dropped their match at No. 2 doubles, while Valpo lost by forfeit at No. 3 due to the team’s injuries, allowing UIC to take the doubles point.
- Czerwonka dropped her first set 2-6 to UIC No. 1 singles player Lejla Colic, who was named second-team all-conference last season. However, Czerwonka battled back for a dramatic win, taking Set 2 by a score of 6-4 before winning the third set tiebreaker 10-6.
- Schoolcraft also followed her doubles win with a strong showing on the singles court. The true freshman started the fall season playing No. 7 singles. She’s been given an opportunity to make a meteoric rise in the lineup due to injuries to other players, and Schoolcraft has taken full advantage. She fought her way into a third set with Georgia Gulin, eventually dropping a close match 2-6, 6-2, 10-6.
- Wind and Kopfer fell at No. 3 and No. 4 singles, respectively. Valpo (1-4) lost by forfeit at the fifth and sixth singles spots, allowing the Flames (3-4) to take the match 6-1.
Inside the Match
- Czerwonka and Schoolcraft improved to 2-1 as a doubles tandem as that pair hadn’t played together prior to spring. Czerwonka grabbed her eighth doubles win of the season and the 23rd of her career.
- Czerwonka picked up her 22nd career singles win and her eighth of the year.
Thoughts from Head Coach Tammy Cecchini
“I told our team after the match that I know it’s cliché, but we played with so much heart today. Our players care about each other and they fought for each other despite being shorthanded. I’m extremely proud of the way we played today.”
Valpo will round out a weekend of home tennis on Sunday as another Horizon League foe comes to town. Milwaukee will provide the opposition for the final match of four straight at home with an 11 a.m. first serve slated to take place at Match Point Tennis Club in Griffith.