The Valparaiso women's tennis team picked up a 7-0 victory over Southern Utah and a 6-1 win over Chicago State on Friday in Macomb, Ill. to improve to 5-1 in the Mid-Continent Conference, moving into a share of second place in the standings.
The Crusaders began the morning match by winning two of the three doubles matches to earn the first point of the contest. Mara Sonkin (Wheaton, Ill./Warrenville South H.S.) teamed with Patricia Arakaki (Campo Grande, Brazil/LaPorte H.S., Ind.) for an 8-2 victory at second doubles, while Jill Dierberg (St. Louis, Mo./Lutheran South H.S.) and Charmaine Stanislaw (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville H.S.) needed a super tie-break to win 9-8 (3) at third doubles.
In singles play the Crusaders won all six matches against the Thunderbirds (6-7, 3-2 Mid-Con) in straight sets. Sonkin posted a 6-3, 6-2 win at the top spot, while Monika Danko (Northfield, Ill./New Trier H.S.) was 6-2, 6-4 winner at second singles. Christina Scala (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South H.S.) tallied a 6-2, 6-2 win at the third spot while Dierberg won 6-2, 6-1 at fourth singles. Arakaki was a 6-2, 7-5 winner at fifth singles and Stanislaw cruised to a 6-0, 6-1 win at the sixth spot.
In the afternoon against the Cougars (3-6, 2-3), Valpo again won the doubles point, sweeping all three matches. Danko and Scala won 8-4 at first doubles, while Sonkin and Arakaki won by the identical score at the second spot. The Crusaders won third doubles by default.
In singles play, Sonkin cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory at the top, while Danko won by the same score at second singles. Dierberg posted a 6-2, 6-1 win at fourth singles while Arakaki came away with a 7-5, 3-6, 11-9 victory at fifth singles. Valpo won sixth singles by default as well.
Valpo (7-6, 5-1), winners of five straight, will close out its regular season on Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. match against Oral Roberts in Macomb. The winner will earn second place outright in the conference standings.