The Valparaiso University tennis team earned a gritty 4-3 victory over Saint Louis on Saturday at The Courts of Northwest Indiana. The Beacons prevailed at the top two doubles spots before garnering victories on three of the six singles courts to earn the dramatic triumph over their foes from the Atlantic 10 Conference. Valpo is off to its best start in the last quarter century with a 4-1 mark through five matches.
How It Happened
- Valpo dropped the first doubles match to finish at No. 3, so the Beacons needed to win on both remaining courts to capture the doubles point. Both of those matches were tight battles, with Olivia and Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) earning a 6-4 win at No. 1 against Sexton-Spencer.
- All eyes turned to the third doubles match, where Amanda Tabanera (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) and Isabella Schoolcraft (Bargersville, Ind. / Center Grove) polished off a 6-4 victory over Perez-Hesham to clinch the doubles point.
- After battling through an injury to win an important match at No. 1 doubles, Claire fell in a tight first set 7-5 at No. 2 singles before retiring due to injury during the second set.
- SLU also won at the No. 1 singles spot, but the third, fourth and sixth positions in the Beacon lineup came through with key victories. At No. 4 singles, Demi Jhaveri (Westlake, Ohio / Westlake) won a tight tiebreak to take Set 1 7-6(7), then cruised to a 6-2 win over Lucija Faj in Set 2.
- Schoolcraft finished off her 2-0 day that featured victories in both singles and doubles by besting Mya Spencer 6-4, 6-4 at No. 6 singles.
- Schoolcraft’s doubles partner also went 2-0 on the day as Tabanera rallied from a set down to beat Norham Hesham 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 to clinch the match for the hosts.
Inside the Match
- At 4-1 through five matches, Valpo owns its best record at this point in the season in the last 25 years.
- Claire and Olivia garnered their 10th doubles win of the season.
- Claire lifted her program-record career doubles win accumulation to 62, while Olivia is one away from cracking the program’s all-time top 10 for career doubles victories as she now possesses 35.
- Tabanera and Schoolcraft have now won four of their five dual matches as a doubles tandem this season. They are .500 overall at 8-8.
- Tabanera is one singles win away from reaching the 30-win threshold as she picked up career win No. 29 on Saturday, her ninth victory this season.
- Jhaveri upped her season record to 8-8 and has won two of her three singles matches this spring.
- Schoolcraft garnered her first singles win this spring and the 22nd of her career.
Valpo (4-1) will hit the road to take on Western Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 6 in Kalamazoo. The match is slated to start at noon Central Time.