The Valparaiso University tennis doubles tandem of Jolene Fernandes (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) and Sydney Stone (Brisbane, Australia / Tyler JC) captured an opening-round victory, highlighting the team’s performance at the ITA Midwest Regional on Friday in East Lansing, Mich.
How It Happened
- Fernandes and Stone defeated the Illinois State combination of Nuria Sanz and Sofia Rodrigo 8-4 in the first round of the doubles main draw.
- The Valpo tandem went on to face off with the Michigan team of Julia Fleigner and Bayley Scheinin in Round 2 later in the day, and the Beacons dropped that match 8-3. Fleigner was All-Big Ten and Big Ten all-tournament team last season, finishing the season ranked No. 54 nationally.
- Fifth-year senior Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) teamed up with sophomore Elizabeth Sobieski (Muskego, Wis. / Muskego) and the pair dropped a tight doubles match to the Northern Illinois combo of Diana Lukyanova and Isabella Righi, falling 8-6. Lukyanova was All-MAC Second Team last season.
- Valpo’s other doubles pairing comprised of Mia Bertino (Lockport, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) and Lillian Kelly (Fullerton, Calif. / Fullerton Union) was also on the wrong end of a close 8-6 decision as they gave the Ohio State duo of Audrey Spencer and Akanksha Bhan all they could handle. Bhan has reached as high as No. 65 in ITA rankings and was a three-time second team All-Ivy League performer while at Columbia.
- In the singles main draw, Czerwonka took a set from a Big Ten opponent, jumping out to a 1-0 lead in the match by beating Rosie Garcia Gross of Wisconsin 7-5. The Badger bounced back to take the next two sets, 6-4, 6-1.