Women's Tennis Opens A-Sun Play with Victory over Kennesaw State, 4-3
Thursday, March 01, 2012 | by Justin Glover (@Jglove3)
Photo by Dennis Snyder
Photo by Dennis Snyder

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s tennis team won the doubles point and won three singles matches en route to an Atlantic-Sun conference home opening win over Kennesaw State, 4-3, on Friday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.

FGCU improves to 2-3 (1-0 A-Sun) on the season, while Kennesaw State drops to 5-4 (0-1 A-Sun). It marks the third win in the series for the Eagles against the Owls.

“I am glad we opened conference play with a win today,” said head coach Jennifer Gabou. “We look forward to improving against BIG EAST opponent Villanova on Saturday.”

In doubles, the Eagles earned a default win at the No. 3 position and secured the doubles point with a win at No. 2 doubles. The team of sophomore Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) and senior Jen Evans (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) won against Jana Hueckinghaus and Vera Shkundina, 8-4, to clinch the doubles point. FGCU fell at No. 1 doubles as junior Morgan Bechtel (Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy) and freshman Marina Diez (Miami, Fla./West Broward HS) were defeated 8-5 by Alexandra Apostu and Virginie Stein.

In singles play, the Green and Blue earned a victory at No. 6 singles as Mandic won by a default to make the score 2-0 Eagles.

Kennesaw State picked up a straight sets win at No. 3 singles with Virginie Stein defeating Diez, 6-1, 6-1. Sophomore Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/DeKuilen HS) won in straight sets against Hueckinghaus, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 5 singles.

With the overall score at 3-1 FGCU, Bechtel took down Therese Lagerkvist, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 4 singles to clinch the match for the Eagles.

In the final two matches, Kennesaw State was able to come away with two wins to make the final score 4-3. The Owls’ Apostu defeated Evans, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 2 singles, followed by a marathon match that saw multiple matches points between Shkundina and freshman Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS). Means lost in the third set super tiebreaker, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (9-7), 1-0 (11-9), at No. 1 singles. Means won the first set tiebreaker, before losing the next two sets to drop to 2-3 in dual matches.

The Green and Blue return to the court on Saturday against BIG EAST foe Villanova on Mar. 3 at 10 a.m. at the FGCU Tennis Complex. Results and recaps will be available on www.FGCUathletics.com after each match this season.

Florida Gulf Coast University 4, Kennesaw State 3
Singles competition
1. Vera Shkundina (KSU) def. Sarah Means (FGCU) 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (9-7), 1-0 (11-9)
2. Alexandra Apostu (KSU) def. Jen Evans (FGCU) 6-2, 6-4
3. Virginie Stein (KSU) def. Marina Diez (FGCU) 6-1, 6-1
4. Morgan Bechtel (FGCU) def. Jana Hueckinghaus (KSU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Therese Lagerkvist (KSU) 6-4, 6-3
6. Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) def. Tamara Plocher (KSU), by default

Doubles competition
1. Alexandra Apostu/Virginie Stein (KSU) def. Morgan Bechtel/Marina Diez (FGCU) 8-5
2. Jen Evans/Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) def. Jana Hueckinghaus/Vera Shkundina (KSU) 8-4
3. Bettina Botha/Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Therese Lagerkvist/Tamara Plocher (KSU), by default

Match Notes:
Kennesaw State 5-4 (0-1 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast University 2-3 (1-0 A-Sun)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (6,3,5,4,2,1)