The men’s and women’s tennis teams both completed their regular season matches this past weekend, though they came off the court with different results. The men’s team triumphed over North Dakota, while the women’s team fell to Missouri State.
The men’s team celebrated Senior Day before the match where senior Chad Kissell was honored for his collegiate accomplishments. Kissell was victorious in his 75th career singles win. He now claims 5th spot in overall program history.
Valpo got off to a rocky start at first, even though duo Brian Pecyna and Daniel Langston successfully beat their opponents. However, the Fighting Hawks were victorious on the other two doubles courts, resulting in them to be awarded the point.
“Doubles is still a thorn in our side… I feel like we are really underachieving in doubles,” said Men’s Tennis Head Coach Jim Daugherty. “The players have really composed themselves well and competed well in singles…[they] really come out strong in singles.”
Brandon Ancona was the first singles victory with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 match score.
Pecyna followed suit, finishing his perfect day in both singles and doubles with a final match score of 6-2, 6-4.
The team victory can be owed to sophomore Kweisi Kenyatte, who was triumphant against the Fighting Hawks 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.
The final singles matches were won by Gabriel Carvajal (6-2, 7-5) and Chad Kissell (7-5, 2-6, 6-3).
“[They] are really good at adjusting, memorizing patterns of the other players; [there is] a lot of intelligence and mentality in their game, in addition to good composure,” Daugherty said.
The team reached several notable milestones during this match. Ancona was awarded his 23rd singles victory, a team-leading score. He was also granted the title of Sumit League Player of the Year which is an award where every coach in the league votes on who the best player in the league is this past season.
“[The award] is primarily about the best player, but it is also about how a player composes himself…[Brandon composes himself] with honor on the court,” Daugherty said.
In addition, Kenyatte's singles win was his 14th straight and was also named to the All-Summit League team.
The women’s team also celebrated Senior Day last weekend; however they lost 5-2 overall to Missouri State in their final home match.
Valpo’s only singles win was picked up by sophomore Claire Czerwonka, defeating her Bears opponent 6-4, 6-4, while duos Meg Modesto and Randi Wind, and Jordan Kopfer and Isabella Schoolcraft, victoriously earned Valpo’s doubles point. In total, Kopfer and Schoolcraft both have nine doubles wins this season, Wind has eight and Modesto has six.
In response to the competition and how her team played on Saturday, Women’s Tennis Head Coach Tammy Cecchini had a few thoughts.
“I really liked the way the energy was. Believe it or not, [the players] emit energy, and it’s contagious whether its up or down, but the energy [on Saturday] was very positive,” she said. “I thought… it was the best they could do and that’s really all I could ask for. I’m very proud of them.”
Although they might have technically lost the match, the women’s team experienced something very special on Saturday that they say they will cherish for a very long time to come.
“We got that doubles point!” said Dao Sysouvanh.
“It was Senior Day and all the graduating players won their doubles point,” Cecchini added. “No one can take that away from us.”
The Valpo women’s team will compete in the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on April 26 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
The men’s team will also be competing this upcoming weekend in the Summit League Tournament in Tulsa, Okla.