Sterkel and Mandic Take Doubles Title as FGCU Invite Comes to a Close
Monday, January 21, 2013 | by Andrew Piper (@ADPiper7)
Sterkel and Mandic took the FGCU Invitational doubles title on January 21 (Photo by Linwood Ferguson)
Sterkel and Mandic took the FGCU Invitational doubles title on January 21 (Photo by Linwood Ferguson)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – On the final day of the FGCU Spring Invitational, freshman Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and junior Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) won the doubles flight two title on Monday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.

FGCU collected a trio of wins on the day with all of them coming in hard-fought fashion. Over the course of the three day invitational, the Green and Blue collected a total of 15 victories against a field that included 2012 A-Sun Champion North Florida and two-time defending Sun Belt Conference Champion North Texas, both of which made the NCAA Tournament last season.

“There were some solid showings this weekend and it was great to see Sterkel and Mandic win their flight, and I’m so proud of Johanna for making it to the finals,” said head coach Jennifer Gabou. “The next few matches will really show us where we are at and what we need to work on to have a strong season in conference play.”

Sterkel finished off a very successful weekend with Mandic by winning the doubles championship in flight two by a score of 9-7 over Northwestern State’s Tatiana Larina and Andrea Nedorostova. The duo went 3-0 over the three-day invitational.

Sterkel fell just short of adding a singles title to the one she earned on the doubles court earlier in the day as North Florida’s Rebeca Periera took the three-set thriller 3-6, 7-5, 10-4.

Sophomore Zhoe Solaun (Gainesville, Fla./F.W. Buchholz HS) won again with her mixed doubles teammate Marina Cunning from North Florida as the pair finished the weekend perfect in their round robin flight.

The Eagles also had promising finishes in the consolation bracket, as freshman Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) won to clinch a third place finish in flight four in a match that she came back to win 4-6, 6-2, 10-7 against Liberty’s Rebekah Jenkins.

FGCU will begin their dual match season on Saturday, January 26 at 1 p.m. when they travel to Miami, Fla. to take on an FIU team that has made the Sun Belt Tournament Final in eight straight seasons.


FGCU Invitational – Day Three Results


Flight 1

Ksenia Pronina (ISU) def. Sarah Means (FGCU) – 6-4, 4-6, 10-6

Flight 2

Marina Cunningham (UNF) def. Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) – 6-1, 6-4

Flight 3

Rebeca Pereira (UNF) def. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) – 3-6, 7-5, 10-4

Valerie Thong (LU) def. Morgan Bechtel (FGCU) – 6-4, 5-7, 10-8

Flight 4

Elizabeth Means (FGCU) def. Rebekah Jenkins (LU) – 4-6, 6-2, 10-7

Flight 5

Melanie Aguirre (UNF) def. Bettina Botha (FGCU) – 6-2, 6-0

Flight 6

Claudia Ortiz (ISU) def. Zhoe Solaun (FGCU) – 6-2, 6-2


Flight 1

Aviles Aguirre (UNF) def. Botha/Bechtel (FGCU) – 8-3

Flight 2

Sterkel/Mandic (FGCU) def. Larina/Nedorostova (NSULA) – 9-7

Cassens/Gaparovic (ISU) def. Means/Means (FGCU) – 8-5

Flight 3

Solaun (FGCU)/Cunningham (UNF) def. Box/Valenzuela (UNT) – 9-7