A successful debut by Mia Bertino (Lockport, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) marked the highlight of the day for the Valparaiso University women’s tennis team in the season opener at Ball State. Bertino started her collegiate career in style as the freshman accounted for the team’s triumph in a 6-1 setback to the host Cardinals on Sunday afternoon in Muncie, Ind.
How It Happened
- Bertino’s win came in straight sets against a quality competitor, Emily Kaplan. The Ball State sophomore had the best dual singles mark on the team a year ago with a 9-1 record. Bertino knocked off Kaplan 6-4, 6-4 at fourth singles.
- Valpo played from behind early as Ball State captured the doubles point by winning on all three courts.
- Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) won two games in each set at No. 1 singles against Emma Peeler, while Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) played a tight first set against Mariya Polishchuk before dropping the No. 2 singles match 6-3, 6-1.
- Valpo also fell in straight sets at No. 3, No. 5 and No. 6 singles.
- The match came against quality competition as Ball State (1-2) owned an impressive 10-2 record at the time play was halted due to COVID-19 last season. The Cardinals opened this season with matches against high-level competition, taking on Notre Dame and Louisville.
- Valpo competed against outside competition for the first time since playing two matches in Orlando on March 4, 2020, snapping a streak of 333 straight days without a match.
Valpo (0-1) will open the home portion of the season on Saturday, Feb. 6 as Western Michigan comes to The Courts of Northwest Indiana for a 3 p.m. first serve. Valpo will clash with a Mid-American Conference opponent for the second consecutive match while kicking off a home-heavy stretch of competition.