FGCUAthletics.com
Women's Tennis Selected Eighth in Preseason Poll
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s tennis team was selected to finish eighth in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches’ poll, the conference announced on Wednesday. Stetson earned top billing, edging out ETSU, the defending A-Sun champions, and UNF.

The Eagles return three seniors, including second team All-Atlantic Sun selections Priscillia Villemond (Les Bordes, France) and Eva Sambrano (Tampa, Fla.). Head coach Jennifer Gabou commented, “I’m really excited about the season ahead and look forward to our first conference match on February 14 against Stetson. That will be a good test for us.”

Stetson, last season’s regular-season champions, completed a nearly perfect season, 8-1, after only falling to UNF. The Hatters return Montevideo, Uruguay natives, Valentina Galbarini and Carolina de los Santos, both who notched spectacular fall seasons. In the ITA preseason poll, the doubles pair of Galbarini and Carolina de los Santos earned a ranking of 60, largely in part of the pair’s spectacular performance at the ITA Southeast Region Championships during the fall. Galbarini and de los Santos knocked off Georgia’s then No. 6 Nadja Gilchrist and Chelsey Gullickson and UNF’s No. 47 pair of sophomore Aline Berkenbrock and senior Raquel Castro in a run to the semifinals. Earlier in the fall, the duo tallied a 2-1 record at the FGCU Fall Invitational. Galbarini earned First Team All-Atlantic Sun honors in each of the last two seasons as well as a 2009 A-Sun All-Tournament team pick.

ETSU, last season’s regular-season champions, earned a No. 2 seed for the Atlantic Sun Championships on an 8-1 league record last season. The Lady Bucs received their only conference loss of the season from the Hatters, 4-3, on April 2, 2009. ETSU features 2009-10 Preseason Player of the Year Yevgeniya Stupak. The senior from Kyiv, Ukraine, shined during the fall season after posting a 13-4 record in five tournaments, picking up wins against players from six nationally ranked teams.

In addition to her singles ranking, the reigning A-Sun Women’s Tennis Player of the Year placed in the doubles rankings with Kelly Holtzhausen. The pair begins the new season ranked ninth in the region after an 8-5 record this fall, earning wins against teams from No. 40 Wake Forest, No. 50 Yale and No. 66 Harvard, while claiming the doubles title at the Cissie Leary Invitational in Philadelphia. Stupak has been ranked in both national and regional polls in the past two years, and earned a ranking of 98 on the ITA preseason poll on Sept. 4, 2009. In addition to her Player of the Year honor, Stupak landed on 2009 All-Tournament Team and on the All-Atlantic Sun First-Team.

UNF took third in the coaches’ poll, just eight points behind ETSU. In UNF’s final action of the fall season at the Wofford Invitational Tournament in Spartanburg, S.C., the Ospreys picked up several wins on the second and final day. Junior Lauren Holton defeated Presbyterian’s Heather Heusel, 6-1, 6-0, while junior Victoria Krook dropped Heather Isbell, 6-1, ret. In doubles action, the pair of Melanie Aguirre and Krook defeated Erica White and Tanvenner Black from Gardner-Webb, 8-1. Two weeks earlier, UNF’s doubles pair of Raquel Castro and Aline Berkenbrock finished fall competition at the Wilson/ITA Southeast Region Championships after falling to Stetson’s duo of Galbarini and de los Santos, 8-3, in the second round of play. In singles action, Galbarini defeated Berkenbrock, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, in the consolation bracket of the tournament.

USC Upstate landed fourth in the poll after closing fall competition at the Wofford Fall Challenge. Junior Emilia Miloanovic completed a perfect run throughout the tournament and also set a school record with the 23rd fall tournament doubles win of her career after a victory against Presbyterian’s Paige Oelke and Heather Isbell, 8-3, with doubles partner Cinthya Lazaro. The native of Paris, France has won six straight singles matches at the event, dating back to her sophomore year, and has won all nine doubles matches that she has played in, posting three wins in 2007 and three more in 2008 with former partner Anna Novo.

Kennesaw State, Campbell, FGCU, Mercer, Belmont and Lipscomb secured the fifth through 11th slots.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

2009-10 Atlantic Sun Women’s Tennis - Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Rank

School (First Place Votes)

Votes

1.

Stetson (6)

114

2.

ETSU (3)

107

3.

UNF (1)

99

4.

USC Upstate (1)

90

5.

Jacksonville

70

6.

Kennesaw State

66

7.

Campbell

59

8.

FGCU

51

9.

Mercer

30

10.

Belmont

26

11.

Lipscomb

14

Tournament Champion: Stetson (7 votes)