Czerwonka, Sobieski Take Titles at Illinois State Invite
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Czerwonka, Sobieski Take Titles at Illinois State Invite
Elizabeth Sobieski and Olivia Czerwonka won their singles flights at this weekend's Illinois State Invite.

A pair of Valparaiso University tennis players enjoyed first-place finishes in their respective singles flights this weekend at the Illinois State Invite, hosted by the Redbirds in Normal, Ill. Fifth-year senior Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) prevailed in Flight 1 Singles, while sophomore Elizabeth Sobieski (Muskego, Wis. / Muskego) came out on top in Flight 5.

How It Happened

  • Czerwonka had to rally after dropping the opening set in the Flight 1 Singles title match against UIC’s Gustafsson. She rebounded from a 2-6 defeat to grab the remaining sets, 6-3, 10-6.
  • Sobieski swept her title match against Eastern Michigan’s Brichackova in Flight 5, winning 6-1, 6-3 to take the crown.  
  • The Beacons had another winning day of singles action, posting a combined record of 6-1. In Flight 3, Mia Bertino (Lockport, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) bested Eloundor of Chicago State 6-2, 6-3 to take fifth place. Also earning fifth was Jolene Fernandes (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), who outdid Srivasrav of St. Thomas 6-3, 6-3 in Flight 6.
  • In Flight 4 Singles, Sydney Stone (Brisbane, Australia / Tyler JC) solidified a seven-place finish, losing only one game in a 6-1, 6-0 triumph of Lindahl of St. Thomas. In Flight 7, Lillian Kelly (Fullerton, Calif. / Fullerton Union) defeated Rodriguez of UIC 6-2, 4-3 with Rodriguez retiring due to an injury.
  • In Flight 2 Singles, Moira Silva (Houston, Texas / Houston Tennis Academy) finished as the runner-up after falling to Kolarevic of Illinois State in a tight title match, 4-6, 6-3, 4-10.
  • The success this weekend also included strong doubles play. Valpo garnered a pair of doubles wins on Sunday, including the Flight 2 tandem of Stone/Sobieski defeating Bezmenova/Pukhina of Bradley 8-3 to take fifth place. The Flight 3 duo of Fernandes/Bertino eked out a tight win 8-7(4) over Ryan/Brion of UIC to snag fifth as well.
  • In the Flight 1 doubles draw, Czerwonka and Silva fell 6-8 to Illinois State’s Zlatanovic/Caculovic to finish as the runners-up.

Inside the Matches

  • Czerwonka increased her ever-growing program record for career singles wins to 72.
  • Czerwonka avenged a defeat from last season, when she dropped a three-set affair to Agnes Gustafsson, 6-3, 6-7(5), 3-6 in the Valpo/UIC dual match on March 26.
  • Gustafsson was a member of the MVC All-Select team last season and was the Horizon League Player of the Year in 2021-22. The match pitted the 2021-22 MVC Player of the Year against the 2021-22 Horizon League Player of the Year. Gustafsson has earned all-league honors in each of her first three collegiate seasons.
  • Sobieski is an unblemished 8-0 in singles play this season.

Up Next

The Beacons will partake in the Missouri Valley Conference Individual Championships beginning on Friday, Oct. 6 in Springfield, Mo.