The return to the state of Wisconsin was a happy one for Valparaiso University junior Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) and senior Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) on Saturday. Both Wisconsin natives emerged victorious in their singles matches, providing the highlight of Valpo’s 5-2 defeat to Milwaukee at River Glen Elite.
How It Happened
- Milwaukee captured the doubles point by virtue of wins at No. 2 and No. 3. Claire and Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) teamed up at No. 1 doubles and had a tight match go unfinished with the doubles point locked up.
- Claire evened the team score at one by making quick work of Milwaukee’s top player in the first singles match to finish. She topped Mayya Perova in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
- Valpo bookended singles play with victories, both in terms of the order of finish and the order in the lineup. The team’s other victory came at No. 6 and in the final match to reach its conclusion as Sysouvanh edged Lucy Harper 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(6).
- Both the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the lineup saw Valpo play three-set matches. Isabella Schoolcraft (Bargersville, Ind. / Center Grove) took the opening set but eventually fell 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 4, while Demi Jhaveri (Westlake, Ohio / Westlake) was edged in a tight third set for a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(6) setback.
- Olivia dropped two close sets at No. 2, 7-6(5), 7-5, while Amanda Tabanera (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) battled through playing under the weather in her 6-3, 6-2 defeat at No. 3.
Inside the Match
- The Panthers (3-2) have won 12 straight head-to-head meetings with Valpo, but Saturday marked one of the best showings by the Brown & Gold in that stretch. This was just the second time Valpo notched two victories in a match against the Panthers since the team’s most recent head-to-head win in 2002.
- Claire became the first Valpo player to win at No. 1 singles in a matchup with Milwaukee since Feb. 26, 2002.
- Claire’s victory came over Perova, who was the Horizon League Freshman of the Year and a member of the All-Horizon League team last season.
- Claire earned her 11th win of the season and her 36th career triumph, putting her within two of climbing into the program’s all-time Top 10 as only a junior.
- Sysouvanh gained her 10th singles win of the season, becoming the fourth Valpo player to crack double figures. She is an unblemished 5-0 in dual matches, the only Valpo player who has yet to incur a defeat in dual play.
- This was Valpo’s first match in the state of Wisconsin since April 10, 2016, so the Czerwonka sisters and Sysouvanh all played a college match in their home state for the first time in their careers.
Thoughts From Head Coach Bob Modesto
“It’s not often when a team loses that the head coach is happy with the performance, but today was one of those matches. This team fought and left it all out on the court. We have a positive outlook going forward both this season and in the future.”
Valpo (3-2) will remain in the state of Wisconsin to face another old Horizon League mate this weekend. The team will head over to Green Bay for a match with the Phoenix that begins at 10 a.m. on Sunday.