The Valparaiso University tennis team faced an early deficit after dropping the doubles point on Saturday afternoon at The Courts of Northwest Indiana, but the Beacons rallied from behind to beat SIUE 4-3 by winning four of the six singles matches. The win came over a team that shared the top spot in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll.
How It Happened
- The Cougars won the doubles point by prevailing at No. 2 and No. 3. The No. 2 Valpo tandem went up a break early, but the guests battled back to take that match 6-3 and won by a 6-4 count on the No. 3 doubles court.
- An excellent match at No. 1 doubles was disrupted due to a clinch-clinch format and went unfinished. Both teams held serve in every game and the match was still on serve with SIUE leading 5-4 when play was halted. The Valpo duo of Olivia Czerwonka and Moira Silva had several dominant holds and had the Cougars on the ropes with several near breaks.
- Czerwonka prevailed 6-4 in the opening set of a big showdown with Margaux Guibal Britt at No. 1 singles, setting the tone by breaking serve on the first game of the set. She raced out to a 4-1 lead but SIUE rattled off three straight games including a pair of breaks to put the set back on serve. Czerwonka came up with a big break to go up 5-4 and then successfully served for the set. She cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set.
- Silva also garnered a straight-set victory at No. 2, defeating quality foe Jill Lambrechts 7-5, 6-3.
- At No. 5 singles, Mia Bertino bested Melissa Vizcardo 6-3, 6-3.
- The match-clinching win came at No. 3, where Demi Jhaveri earned a hard-fought 7-6(2) victory in the opening set before dominating the second set, 6-1.
Inside the Match
- SIUE was picked to finish tied atop the Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll. The Cougars are projected to share the title with SEMO. SIUE went 16-5 overall last season.
- They placed three players on the OVC Preseason Women’s Tennis Top 10 list with Jill Lambrechts earning the top spot while Margaux Guibal Britt was fourth and Jordan Schifano was sixth.
- SIUE had won the last five matches between the two teams including a 5-2 victory last season, with Saturday’s result flipping the script on that outcome.
- Lambrechts was a CoSIDA At-Large Second Team Academic All-American last season after earning co-OVC Player of the Year recognition and First Team All-OVC status.
- Schifano was named to the All-OVC Second Team each of the last two seasons, while Guibal Britt is a freshman who was ranked No. 1 in the state of Tennessee and as high as 74th nationally.
- The win came while playing shorthanded as Eleanor Chapman was sidelined by an injury.
- Czerwonka picked up her 55th career singles win and improved to 9-2 this year including 5-0 in dual matches.
- Silva upped her team-leading win total to 11 against just two losses, while Jhaveri picked up her sixth win of the season and Bertino notched her eighth.
The Beacons (4-1) will play at Purdue Northwest on Wednesday at 1 p.m. at Park Forest Racket Club in Park Forest, Ill.