Fifth-year senior Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) and sophomore Moira Silva (Houston, Texas / Houston Tennis Academy) were victorious in their morning matches against a Toledo tandem on Sunday to earn a place in the championship round of the BGSU Invite, hosted by Bowling Green this weekend in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Beacon pair dropped their championship showdown to a different Rocket combination later in the day to finish as the runners-up in the tournament.
How It Happened
- This tournament utilized a unique format where a Valpo duo was matched up with a duo from another school for one doubles match and two singles matches and whichever pair won two of three moved on to the next round.
- Czerwonka and Silva knocked off the second-seeded Toledo tandem of Tallamraju/Opaciuch. The victory started with a convincing 8-2 doubles triumph before both players won their singles matches in straight sets. Silva outdid Tallamraju 6-3, 6-3, while Czerwonka cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Opaciuch.
- The win on Sunday morning allowed Silva and Czerwonka to advance to the championship match, where they fell to the top-seeded Toledo pair of Alcala/Rondon 5-8 in doubles and in straight sets in both singles matches.
Inside the Match
- The semifinal and final matches for Czerwonka and Silva came against Toledo players who are part of a Rockets program that went 20-4 overall and 10-0 in the Mid-American Conference last season.
- Silva’s Sunday singles success came over Shalini Tallamraju, who was a Second Team All-MAC performer last season. She earned MAC All-Tournament team honors each of the last two years and posted a glowing 29-3 overall record and 10-0 MAC mark in singles play last season.
- Czerwonka dropped just two total games in her dominant victory over Natasha Opaciuch, who played at Cincinnati last season before joining Toledo this year.
- Czerwonka and Silva ran into a buzz saw in the championship match as their extremely successful weekend came to an end. Silva fell to Toledo’s Cassie Alcala, who has twice been named MAC Player of the Year (outright once, co-player of the year once), burst onto the scene as MAC Freshman of the Year in 2020-21 and has earned first team all-conference honors in each of her first three seasons.
- Czerwonka’s semifinal victory in singles was the 67th of her collegiate career. After shattering the program record on Saturday, she will establish a new Valpo standard with each win for the remainder of the season.
- Czerwonka’s doubles win in the semifinal round was the 65th of her collegiate career, second in program history behind her sister Claire (72).
- Silva is up to 20 career doubles wins as only a sophomore, while her singles win accumulation has reached 23.
The Beacons will play a pair of home dual matches as part of a busy homecoming Saturday on Valpo’s campus. The squad starts the day with a 9 a.m. first serve against Purdue Northwest at the Valpo Tennis Complex before hosting Indiana Wesleyan in a match that gets going at 3 p.m.