The Valparaiso University tennis team gave preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite Belmont a tight battle on Sunday, but the host Bruins pulled out a 4-3 victory in Nashville, Tenn. to round out the opening weekend of league action. The two teams split the six singles matches after the Bruins earned a doubles point that proved pivotal.
How It Happened
- Doubles play began on a high note for the Beacons as Eleanor Chapman (East Sussex, England / Eastbourne College [UT Martin / Lipscomb]) and Demi Jhaveri (Westlake, Ohio / Westlake) quickly dispatched Aly Getty and Taylor Trondson 6-1 at No. 3. However, the top two doubles matches both resulted in 6-2 wins for the hosts.
- Belmont won at No. 1 singles including a tight first set, but Amanda Tabanera (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) got the Beacons on the board with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Viktoria Kliimand at No. 4 in the second singles match to finish.
- The Bruins won at No. 3 to extend the lead to 3-1 in the team score, but a path to victory remained for the guests based on the scores of the remaining three matches.
- Next to finish was Moira Silva (Houston, Texas / Houston Tennis Academy), who bounced back from a close loss in the second set to dominate the third set without dropping a game, beating Abi Solomon 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 at No. 2 to cut the team lead to one at 3-2.
- After trading 6-4 victories over the first two sets with Belmont winning the opener and Valpo taking the second, Chapman and Meredith Roberts played an all-important third set at No. 5. Chapman dropped the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
- The Beacons boasted a dominant win at No. 6 with Mia Bertino (Lockport, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) blitzing Trodson 6-0, 6-2.
Inside the Match
- Belmont received six of the nine first-place votes and was tabbed the preseason favorite to win the league in its first season as a Missouri Valley Conference member.
- Silva won her 17th match of the season including a perfect 2-0 opening weekend of conference play. She has entered the top 10 in program history in single-season singles wins, joining Mara Sonkin (2001-2002) and Kate Evangelist (2005-2006) in a tie for 10th.
- Bertino increased her season singles win total to 13 and her career mark to 34.
- The Tabanera triumph was the 48th of her career in singles play, a total that ranks 10th in program history. With her next win, she will climb into a tie for ninth with Jill Dierberg (2002-2006).
- This was the fourth match of the season decided by a 4-3 score with Valpo falling to 2-2 in those matches.
The Beacons (9-4, 0-2) will return home to host Milwaukee on Saturday at 2 p.m. at The Courts of Northwest Indiana.