The Valparaiso University tennis team garnered a doubles victory and a trio of singles successes in the first round of the Illinois State Invite, which began on Friday in Normal, Ill. The success of Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) and Moira Silva (Houston, Texas / Houston Tennis Academy) at the top of the lineup continued in both singles and doubles, while Elizabeth Sobieski (Muskego, Wis. / Muskego) also picked up a singles triumph.
How It Happened
- Czerwonka and Silva dispatched Dukic/Li of Chicago State 8-3 in Flight 1 Doubles.
- Czerwonka and Silva both had 2-0 days between singles and doubles. Czerwonka’s Flight 1 Singles win came 6-2, 6-0 over Bradley’s Andra Sirbu, while Silva pulled out a dramatic victory over Sofiya Sadovich of Chicago State in Flight 2, bouncing back from dropping the first set to capture a three-set thriller 5-7, 7-6(3), 10-5.
- The team’s other singles win came courtesy of Sobieski, who displayed strong poise in Flight 5 by winning a pair of tight sets over Nuria Sanz of Illinois State. She edged out a 7-6(3), 7-5 straight-set win.
- Closely-contested matches were a theme of the day for the Beacons. The team dropped two of its three doubles matches, but both defeats were cliffhangers that easily could have resulted in the opposite outcome. Sydney Stone (Brisbane, Australia / Tyler JC) and Sobieski gave top-seeded Shved/Saenko of Eastern Michigan a quality battle, but fell 6-8 in Flight 2.
- In Flight 3 Doubles, the Valpo match was even more climactic, as Mia Bertino (Lockport, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) and Jolene Fernandes (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) were on the wrong end of a tiebreak against Sanz/Rodriguez of Illinois State, falling 7-8(4).
- Several singles setbacks were also valiant efforts. Bertino pushed second-seeded Saenko of Eastern Michigan to the brink in Flight 3, dropping the third set tiebreak 10-8 after splitting the first two sets. Both sets came down to the wire in Flight 4, where Stone fell to UIC’s Mayu Ushio 5-7, 6-7(6).
Inside the Matches
- Czerwonka attained her 70th career singles win, becoming the first player in program history to reach that milestone.
- Czerwonka continued her pursuit of her sister Claire’s doubles wins record. The younger sister now owns 68 career doubles wins, just four behind the older sister for the program’s all-time standard.
- Silva is already at 23 doubles wins during the fall of her sophomore season, and her singles win total has reached 26.
- Sobieski stayed perfect in singles play on the season, upping her mark to 6-0.
The tournament at Illinois State will continue on Saturday.