The Valparaiso University tennis team orchestrated another successful showing at the Illinois State Redbird Invitational on Saturday in Normal, Ill. as two doubles tandems earned flight championships while three players advanced to title matches in singles competition. In addition, senior Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) reached the 100-win milestone combined between singles and doubles for her collegiate career.
How It Happened
- The Valpo doubles duo of Czerwonka and Moira Silva (Houston, Texas / Houston Tennis Academy) captured a pair of victories on Saturday to win the title in their doubles flight. They did not drop a game in a semifinal match with Bradley’s Bezmenova/Belogliadova, and then followed the 6-0 victory by beating Illinois State’s Kolarevic/Jankulovska 6-3 in the title match.
- In Flight 3 Doubles, Amanda Tabanera (Valencia, Calif. / Valencia) and Mia Bertino (Lockport, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) dropped only one game in two matches on Saturday en route to a championship. They blitzed Bradley’s Rogers/Pukhina 6-0 before notching a 6-1 victory over Illinois State’s Pomarolli/Brodin to wrap up a 3-0 weekend.
- A pair of Beacons will match up in the Flight 1 Singles title match on Sunday. Czerwonka defeated Illinois State’s Nevena Kolarevic in Saturday’s semifinal match by dominating a Set-2 tiebreak to win 6-2, 7-6 (0). Elsewhere in Flight 1, Silva continued her strong week by besting Mariia Pukhina of Bradley 6-2, 6-4.
- Valpo will also have an opportunity for a championship in Flight 2 Singles on Sunday after Demi Jhaveri (Westlake, Ohio / Westlake) advanced past the semifinal round due to an injury default.
- In Flight 3 Singles, freshman Elizabeth Sobieski (Muskego, Wis. / Muskego) bounced back from a Friday setback by winning her consolation semifinal in “double bagel” fashion over Ellis of EIU. She will play in a consolation final on Sunday.
- Tabanera also recorded a bounce-back win on Saturday, beating EIU’s Monroy 6-2, 6-1 in a Flight 2 consolation match. She too will play in a consolation final on Sunday.
Inside the Matches
- Czerwonka’s first doubles win of the day allowed her to hit a pair of career milestones. She reached the 50-win threshold in doubles for her collegiate career, becoming just the sixth player in program history to do so and just the second since 2007, joining her sister Claire. Furthermore, it represented her 100th collegiate win combined between singles and doubles.
- Later in the day, Olivia earned her 51st career singles win, which ranks seventh in program history and is one away from moving into a tie for sixth. She also tacked on the 51st doubles success of her collegiate tenure, moving into a tie with Rachel Janssen (2003-2007) for fourth in program history.
- Tabanera’s win was the 41st of her singles career, as she needs just four more to crack the Top 10 in program history.
The Illinois State Redbird Invitational will conclude on Sunday in Normal.