Busy Week At Home Nears For @FGCU_WTEN
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | by Sara Roberts
FGCU women's tennis looks to pick up wins  in a home stretch that includes three matches in five days (photo credit: Linwood Ferguson)
FGCU women's tennis looks to pick up wins in a home stretch that includes three matches in five days (photo credit: Linwood Ferguson)

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After welcoming eight non-conference opponents to The Nest earlier this season, the FGCU women’s tennis team will play host to two members of the Atlantic Sun Conference in a home stretch that includes three matches in five days.

Looking to improve their 7-6 (1-1 A-Sun) record with wins at the FGCU Tennis Complex, the Green and Blue begin with home stand with Stetson on Wednesday at 11 a.m., before facing No. 63 North Florida on Mar. 21 at 10 a.m. and Albany on Mar. 23 at 11 a.m.

“Hosting talented teams and two conference opponents, this weekend is a tremendous privilege for us,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “Stetson and North Florida are both solid teams. The girls are looking forward to all the opportunities they have to grow through competition over the next five day.”

The Hatters come to town boasting an overall record of 10-2 and share FGCU’s mark of 1-1 in conference play, having fallen at ETSU and beating USC Upstate last weekend. After suffering a 4-2 loss at Florida State to begin its season, Stetson went on to win a program-record 10-straight matches before dropping 6-1 at ETSU.  Stetson leads the all-time series with FGCU, 5-1, through six meetings in the history of the programs. The teams met twice last season, once for their annual dual and then again in the A-Sun Championship Quarterfinals.  Last April in DeLand, The Hatters claimed a 5-2 triumph over the Eagles on their home courts and continued on the beat the Green and Blue a narrow 4-3, ending FGCU’s season.

North Florida travels to Fort Myers looking to collect a win in its first Atlantic Sun contest of the season. Sitting at 7-3 overall, two of the Osprey’s losses were the result of ranked opponents as they drew blank falling 0-7 against No. 14 Clemson and No. 33 South Carolina. The Eagles and Ospreys have met five times with UNF having won each of the dual matches between the two programs. In their contest last spring, UNF claimed a 6-1 victory over FGCU.

Riding a three-match win streak in the one-doubles position are sisters Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS). Starting with the match at ETSU, the sister act topped a pair of Bucs, 8-4, before beating a team from USC Upstate, 8-5. Completing the trio of wins was their 8-6 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday.

In its last A-Sun contest, the FGCU women’s tennis team completely shutout USC Upstate, coming out on the winning end in each of the nine matches for a 7-0 overall victory. Beginning the victorious sweep, FGCU collected wins in all three doubles matches for an early 1-0 advantage. Through singles play the Green and Blue stuck to their plan for success, winning all six matches. Leaving her opponent blank was Johanna Sterkel (Schwtzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS), as she took 12-straight games from Talia Rojas for a 6-0, 6-0 win at three-singles. Collecting their eighth wins of the season were Candela Munoz (Alicante, Spain/Troy) and Elizabeth Means playing No. 4 and No. 5, respectively. Munoz took both sets over Sarah Vande Berg with a score of 6-1, while Means clinched a 6-3, 6-2 victory from Lindsey Buenger.

For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis this weekend follow us on Twitter at @FGCU_WTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available at the end of each day.