The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team put together a competitive showing on Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis, but host Butler earned a 4-3 victory at the Butler Bubble in a matchup that went down to the wire. The doubles point proved pivotal when the two teams split the six singles courts. Valpo continued to show positive strides from last year’s results.
How It Happened
- A tight doubles point set the tone for a close match as Valpo dropped the No. 2 doubles match before Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) and Isabella Schoolcraft (Bargersville, Ind. / Center Grove) teamed up for a 6-4 victory over Sarah Monesmith and Lauryn Padgett at No. 1.
- The doubles point (and eventually, the match) hinged on what occurred at No. 3 doubles. Emily Neal and Kendal Wilby nipped Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) and Amanda Tabanera (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) on a tiebreak, winning 7-6(6).
- Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) was victorious in the first singles match to finish, collecting a straight-set win over Padgett 6-4, 6-1.
- Butler got the win at No. 1 singles to regain a 2-1 lead in the team score. Three of the remaining four singles matches went three sets, including a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 win for Tabanera at third singles over Emily Neal.
- Schoolcraft incurred a tight 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 setback to Nina Bertino at No. 4 singles, so Valpo trailed 3-2 and needed to win both remaining matches.
- Matches at the Butler Bubble are played on four courts, so the No. 5 and No. 6 singles contests began once courts opened up. Consequently, fifth and sixth singles were the final matches remaining. Sysouvanh rolled to a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Monesmith at No. 6, but Sara Linn came away with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-2 win over Demi Jhaveri (Westlake, Ohio / Westlake) to nail down a 4-3 triumph for the Bulldogs (2-1).
Inside the Match
- Valpo continued to show improvement from a year ago, when the team incurred a 6-1 home loss to Butler.
- This was the closest Valpo has come to knocking off Butler in the last eight matchups between the two teams. The most recent victory for the Brown and Gold in the all-time series came on Feb. 2, 2007.
- Olivia picked up singles win number nine on her rookie campaign, while Tabanera jumped into sole possession of the team lead by securing her 11th singles victory.
- Sysouvanh rounded out a perfect weekend with her ninth win of the season and the 29th of her collegiate career.
- Schoolcraft and Claire improved to 9-6 together in doubles play this season. Claire increased her career doubles win total to 36, which moved her into a tie for ninth in program history with Kate Kollarova (2000-2002).
- Valpo came close to starting the spring season with back-to-back victories for the first time since 2007.
Valpo (3-1) will continue a stretch of five straight road matches to start the spring on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Milwaukee. The contest is slated to begin at 1 p.m.