The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team made head coach Bob Modesto’s first conference match a memorable one on Friday, continuing the squad’s strong season by besting UNI 5-2 at Black Hawk Tennis Club in Waterloo, Iowa. Valpo registered its first league victory since joining the Missouri Valley Conference, in the process securing the program’s highest overall win total since 2006-2007.
How It Happened
- Valpo had to battle back from an early deficit after dropping a tightly-contested doubles point. Sisters Claire and Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) garnered a 7-5 triumph over UNI’s top tandem of Emma Carr and Olivia Fain at No. 1, but Valpo fell 6-4 and 7-5 at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
- Claire cruised to a victory at No. 1 singles, dropping just one game en route to a 6-0, 6-1 straight-set triumph over Carr.
- Valpo had the lead in the team score in the blink of an eye once singles got underway, as Mia Bertino (Lockport, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) also made quick work of her opponent at No. 4. She put together a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Valentina Caro, and soon after Olivia polished off a 6-3, 6-2 triumph over Madeline Doherty at No. 2. That put Valpo up 3-1 and on the brink of the victory.
- Freshman Allison McConnell (Westland, Mich. / Churchill) corralled the win that clinched the team victory at No. 5, beating Fain 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in a three-set battle. Valpo added a 6-3, 6-4 win by Isabella Schoolcraft (Bargersville, Ind. / Center Grove) at No. 6, while the team’s lone singles loss came in close fashion with Amanda Tabanera (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) falling 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 on a third-set tiebreak at No. 3.
Inside the Match
- After last year’s conference slate was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Modesto made his long-awaited MVC coaching debut in his second season as head coach. The team did not disappoint, registering its first Valley win since joining the prestigious conference.
- The 5-2 final marked Valpo’s most lopsided conference victory since topping Green Bay by that same score on April 9, 2016.
- The victory marked a stark turnaround from the team’s most recent matchup with the Panthers, a 6-1 setback on April 14, 2019.
- This marks the first time Valpo has started the conference slate with a victory since beginning the 2006 Mid-Continent Conference schedule by beating Centenary 7-0.
- Valpo now owns its highest single-season overall win total since the 2006-2007 campaign.
- This marked just the second time this season and first since Feb. 7 vs. Ferris State that Valpo rallied to win a match after dropping the doubles point. Entering Friday, Valpo was 4-0 when winning the doubles point and 1-8 when dropping the doubles point.
- The Czerwonka sisters continued their impressive doubles winning streak, registering their seventh straight triumph and team-leading ninth overall this season.
- Olivia notched her sixth consecutive singles win to up her team-high singles win total to eight.
- Claire’s doubles win was the 49th of her career, a total that ranks fifth in program history. She also registered her 43rd career singles win, which ranks ninth in the program record book.
- McConnell’s win at No. 5 helped her move to 2-0 since joining the Valpo singles lineup.
- The marked Valpo's fifth win in its last six matches.
Valpo (6-8, 1-0 MVC) will close out its Iowa swing on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Drake. A link to live scoring is available on ValpoAthletics.com.