Tennis Tops Tommies Thanks to Three Triumphs in Singles
Sunday, February 4, 2024
Tennis Tops Tommies Thanks to Three Triumphs in Singles
Jolene Fernandes had the singles win that clinched the team victory on Sunday.

The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team returned to the win column on Sunday, closing out a weekend of home tennis at The Courts of Northwest Indiana by defeating visiting St. Thomas 4-3. The Beacons dominated the top two doubles matches to set the tone, then split six singles showdowns to come away victorious.

How It Happened

  • The No. 1 doubles team of Oliva Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) and Moira Silva (Houston, Texas / Houston Tennis Academy) rolled to a 6-1 victory over Olivia Paradise and Yinong Ma. The two pairs exchanged holds early, then Valpo ran off five straight games including three breaks to win the match 6-1.
  • The doubles point was clinched thanks to the work of the No. 2 tandem of Elizabeth Sobieski (Muskego, Wis. / Muskego) and Sydney Stone (Brisbane, Australia / Tyler JC). They captured the first four games en route to a 6-2 win over Jannah ElNemr and Caroline Lindahl.
  • With the doubles point in the books, the No. 3 match went unfinished as Mia Bertino (Lockport, Ill. / Joliet Catholic) and Jolene Fernandes (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) were engaged in a tight battle with Marthe Degeorges and Naisha Srivastav. The match was on serve for the majority of its duration and was a 4-4 deadlock when play was halted.
  • Silva was the first singles player off the court, dropping just two games over the match in a 6-1, 6-1 win over ElNemr.
  • Czerwonka extended the lead in the team match to 3-0 and put the squad on the brink of a triumph by polishing off a 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 2. She held a 5-3 lead in the first set before Degeorges rallied to even the set at five games apiece. Czerwonka held serve to go up 6-5, then broke serve in the final game to win the set 7-5. She cruised through the second set to wrap up the match.
  • At No. 6 singles, Fernandes locked up the team win for the Beacons when she finished up a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Srivastav. She erased an early 3-0 deficit in the first set by winning the next three games. She inched ahead 6-5 and created an opportunity to serve for the set, then converted that chance to win 7-5 before rolling to the second-set triumph.
  • At No. 5 singles, Sobieski breezed to a 6-2 win in Set 1 and built up an early lead in Set 2, but Yinong Ma of St. Thomas battled back to take the second set 6-4 and force a 10-point match tiebreak. The Tommies took the first five points of the tiebreak, holding on the first point and then breaking serve on back-to-back points before holding serve twice more, going up two mini-breaks at 5-0. However, Sobieski rallied to heighten the drama, earning back-to-back holds before splitting on Ma’s two service points to make it 6-3. Sobieski then held on back-to-back service points to make it 6-5. St. Thomas got a hold to go up 7-5 before the players switched sides of the court. Sobieski picked up a key break to put the tiebreak back on serve at 7-6. However, Ma broke on both of Sobieski’s service points, setting up the chance to serve for the match. She split her service points to close out a 10-7 win for the Tommies.
  • At No. 3 singles, Bertino dropped her match 7-6, 6-3 to Lindahl, while Stone succumbed in a three-set battle with Paradise at No. 4, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2.

Inside the Matches

  • St. Thomas entered the match at 3-0 on the season with wins over Lindenwood, Marquette and Missouri Valley Conference member Bradley. The Tommies beat the Braves 4-2.
  • The doubles win was Olivia’s ninth of the season, lifting her career total to 71. She is one doubles victory away from tying and two from surpassing the program record, which is held by her sister Claire.  
  • Silva improved her record to 12-3 in singles including a 7-0 dual match record. She already owns 30 career wins as only a sophomore.
  • Czerwonka climbed her record to 13-4 this season and increased her program-record singles win total to 76. She climbed into sole possession of fifth in school history (men’s and women’s) for career singles wins, surpassing Chad Kissell (2015-2019, 75).  
  • Fernandes picked up her 11th singles win of the season.
  • Both matches this weekend were decided by a 4-3 score with Valpo bouncing back from Friday’s loss to Bellarmine by returning to the win column on Sunday. The team had seven matches decided by the slimmest of margins last season, posting a 4-3 record in those 4-3 affairs.  
  • Czerwonka’s victory came over Degeorges, who was a member of the All-Summit League team last season.

Up Next

The Beacons (4-3) will play a midweek match at Chicago State on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Homewood, Ill.