FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s tennis team had an impressive start to the FGCU Invitational by collecting five singles and two doubles victories in day one of the three-day event at FGCU Tennis Complex on Saturday afternoon.
“The team really showed up to play today,” said FGCU head coach Jennifer Gabou. “I can tell they've been training hard over break and that translated into some wins today.”
The FGCU Invitational field consists of host FGCU along with Iowa State, Liberty, North Florida, North Texas and Northwestern State (LA). The field is broken into six singles flights and three doubles flights with each flight comprised of eight teams. Saturday’s winners will continue on to play in the semifinal round on Sunday morning for a spot in one of Monday’s championship matches.
The FGCU upperclassmen duo of junior Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) and senior Morgan Bechtel (Toldeo, Ohio/St. Ursual Academy) recorded the first victory of the day for the Eagles by a score of 8-4 over Valentina Starkova and Barbora Vykydalova from North Texas.
Botha followed up her doubles victory with a singles victory 7-5, 6-4 over Emma Waites of Iowa State to finish the day perfect.
FGCU collected one singles and doubles victory over the two-time defending Sun Belt Conference Champion North Texas Mean Green which added to their already successful opening day.
Newcomer and freshman Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla/Wiregrass Ranch HS) captured the singles victory over North Texas’ Agustina Valenzuela in a 7-5, 6-2 sweep.
Sophomore Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) took down Liberty’s Allexandra Sheeran 6-4, 6-1 in the first flight for FGCU.
FGCU picked up right where they left off after a competitive fall season that included four tournaments spread throughout the state of Florida.
Freshman Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodo-Schule HS) found success during her first action of the 2013 season with a 6-2, 6-4 defeat of Iowa State’s Jenna Langhorst. Four of the five FGCU singles victories came in straight sets.
Junior Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) fought hard to her singles match against Northwestern State’s Nataly Krutova in three sets by a score of 6-3, 4-6, 10-2.
The Green and Blue’s other victorious doubles pair, Sterkel and Mandic took down Valerie Thong and Rebekah Jenkins of Liberty.
The Green and Blue will continue their host duties for the FGCU Spring Invitational on Saturday, January 20 at 8 a.m.
FGCU Invitational – Day One Results
Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Allexandra Sheeran (LU) – 6-4, 6-1
Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) def. Nataly Krutova (NSULA) – 6-3, 4-6, 10-8
Ilona Serchenko (UNT) def. Morgan Bechtel (FGCU) – 6-3, 4-6, 10-2
Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) def. Jenna Langhorst (ISU) – 6-2, 6-4
Elizabeth Means (FGCU) def. Agustina Valenzuela (UNT) – 7-5, 6-2
Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Emma Waites (ISU) – 7-5, 6-4
Botha/Bechtel (FGCU) def. Starkova/Vykydalova (UNT) – 8-4
Sterkel/Mandic (FGCU) def. Thong/Jenkins (LU) – 8-4
Larina/Nedorostova (NSULA) def. Means/Means (FGCU) – 8-3