Tennis Edged by NIU as Streak of 4-3 Matches Continues
Saturday, February 24, 2024
Tennis Edged by NIU as Streak of 4-3 Matches Continues
Olivia Czerwonka picked up wins in both singles and doubles on Saturday.

The Valparaiso University tennis team continued to have a flair for the dramatic, playing its sixth match in the last seven that was decided by the slimmest of margins at 4-3 on Saturday. Visiting Northern Illinois edged its way to the victory at The Courts of Northwest Indiana despite the Beacons capturing three singles wins and one doubles victory.

How It Happened

  • Valpo’s No. 1 doubles tandem of Olivia Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy) and Moira Silva (Houston, Texas / Houston Tennis Academy) battled out a tight 6-4 victory over the top Northern Illinois pair of Erika Dimitriev and Nataly Ninova.
  • The Huskies picked up key wins on the other two doubles courts, 6-3 at No. 2 and 6-2 at No. 3, to take a doubles point that would prove pivotal.
  • Silva rattled off a quick 6-1, 6-2 victory over Dimitriev at No. 1 singles.
  • Newcomer Sydney Stone (Brisbane, Australia / Tyler JC) picked up a key win at No. 6 singles to keep Valpo’s hopes of winning the team match alive. After prevailing 6-2 in the opening set, she edged Jenna Horne 7-5 in Set 2 to take the match.
  • The last two matches in action were No. 2 and No. 3. Czerwonka finalized her No. 2 singles win over Lukyanova in two close sets – 6-4, 6-4. When that match was finished, the team score was level at three apiece with the match hinging on the outcome at No. 3 singles.
  • In that match, Jolene Fernandes (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) took the opening set 6-2 before Isabella Righi bounced back to win the second set 6-3. The third set went to a tiebreak deadlocked at 6-6 and Righi pulled out a 7-5 win in the tiebreak to take a tightly-contested match as this time the Beacons came out on the wrong end of another heart-pounder.

Inside the Matches

  • Czerwonka’s victory at No. 2 singles came over Lukyanova, who was a member of the All-MAC Second Team last season.
  • Czerwonka recorded her 18th singles win this season and the 81st of her career, already a program record. This win allowed her to climb into the program’s single-season top 10 for singles successes as she is now in a four-way tie for ninth in the single-season section of the record book. She joins Christina Scala (2001-02), Amanda Tabanera (2021-22) and Moira Silva (2022-23) in that tie.
  • Valpo has not dropped a match at No. 2 singles this season. Czerwonka and Silva have combined to go 12-0 when playing No. 2, showcasing the fact that the program boasts two players who are both No. 1 singles caliber. 
  • Stone’s singles win was her 10th of the season.
  • Silva picked up her 14th singles win of the season, while the Silva/Czerwonka combo notched its 12th doubles triumph. Czerwonka boosted her program-record career total to 74 doubles victories.
  • Six out of Valpo’s last seven matches have been decided by the slimmest of margins at 4-3. Valpo is 3-3 in those six matches.  

Up Next

The Beacons (7-5) will head to the Lone Star State for a spring trip to Houston, Texas, where they will clash with Sam Houston State on Monday, March 11.