VALPARAISO | After playing three matches earlier in the week, Crown Point girls tennis coach Brian Elston looked at his lineup and decided it was time to make a change before Thursday’s key Duneland Athletic Conference tilt with Valparaiso.
Elston took Abby Kvachkoff out of doubles and inserted the senior into No. 2 singles where she dispatched Madisen Kammerer 6-0, 6-1, leading the Times No. 1 Bulldogs to a 3-2 win over the host No. 3 Vikings.
“I just didn’t like the combination and felt it was time to make a change,” Elston said. “(The future lineup) is up in the air, but if you can beat Valpo with this lineup, than that’s something to look at.”
Kvachkoff used a methodical approach to beat Kammerer, using plenty of lobs to take advantage of a swirling wind. The Purdue Calumet recruit was 17-1 as a singles player last year, but moved to doubles to team with Maddie Cleland this season while April Przyborski played singles. The pair switched positions Thursday for C.P. (8-1, 3-0).
“I was excited to play singles, but it’s whatever Coach (Elston) feels is best for the team,” Kvachkoff said. “I was worried about conditioning a little bit. I just needed to make sure I stayed hydrated. Tennis is such a mental game.”
Crown Point No. 1 singles Qing Wen made short work of Valpo’s Rachel Crookston with a 6-2, 6-1 victory while Rachel Willing gave the Vikings (6-3, 3-1) a 6-4, 6-2 win over Savanna Schuljak at No. 3 singles.
Both teams battled a driving wind throughout much of the match.
“We have a lot of experienced kids and players who have been playing in spring weather with a lot of wind,” Elston said. “I was worried about (Wen) a little bit because she’s played in cold weather, but she’s not used to playing in wind.”
Both doubles matches ended quickly as Valpo’s Caitlin Kennedy and Brooke Sever won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1, while Crown Point’s Olivia Elston and Jordan Embry won 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2.
“Crown Point played a great game,” Valparaiso coach Tim Shideler said. “We knew we’d have to play a great game in order to win. Hats off to Crown Point.”
Shideler was highly complementary of both teams after the match and noted that Kvachkoff’s switch to singles certainly had an impact.
“That’s a move that worked out well for them,” he said. “Maybe if they don’t make that move, we can get both points and win. I know the scores looked like it was a bit of a blowout in some matches, but this match was a lot closer than it looked. We just missed in a few spots.”