JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The FGCU women’s tennis team’s opening day at the UNF Fall Invitational on Friday in Jacksonville, Fla. was highlighted by the doubles play of senior Iris Rendon (San Antonio, Texas/John Marshall HS/Tyler Junior College) and sophomore Morgan Bechtel (Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy), who earned a big victory over host UNF to kickoff the event.
"We've really been focused on doubles this fall," said third-year head coach Jennifer Gabou, "and today we saw that the work is beginning to pay off."
The doubles team of Rendon and Bechtel started the day off with an upset victory over the UNF team of Melanie Aguirre and Danielle Day, 8-3, both of whom were members of the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference championship team. The win placed Bechtel and Rendon in the semifinal round of the Flight A Draw on Saturday morning.
In singles action, Melissa Narzissenfeld (Tampa, Fla./Academy of the Holy Names) advanced to the quarterfinals of the Flight B Draw with a win over Jacksonville University's Gabriela Haddard, 7-5, 6-1, before falling to Madelle Janse Van Rensburg of Samford University, 7-6 (5), 6-2.
In Flight A, Rendon went 1-1 on the day with an early loss to Karoline Grymel (Troy) 6-1, 6-2 and then proceeded to stage the comeback of the day's action in the consolation bracket. Rendon lost the first set to Andre Meiring (Samford), 6-1, before coming back in convincing-fashion to grab the victory 1-6, 6-3, 6-3.
In Flight C, Bechtel lost a hard-fought three-setter against Jessica Diamond (Samford) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 before picking up a win against Charleston Southern’s Susta Das, 6-4, 6-3. In Flight D2, freshman Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) was dismissed by Emily Mallory (Samford) 6-3, 6-0 before breezing by Susana Aguirre (Stetson) 6-1, 6-0.
The Eagles will close out the UNF Invitational on Saturday at 9 a.m., beginning with doubles play, followed by the final round of singles.
Grymal (Troy) def. Rendon (FGCU), 6-1, 6-2
Rendon (FGCU) def. Meiring (Samford), 1-6, 6-3, 6-3
Narzissenfeld (FGCU) def. Gabriela Haddad (JU), 7-5, 6-1
Van Rensburg (Samford) def. Narzissenfeld (FGCU), 7-6 (5), 6-2
Diamond (Samford) def. Bechtel (FGCU), 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Bechtel (FGCU) def. Das (CSU), 6-4, 6-3
Mallory (Samford) def. Mandic (FGCU), 6-3, 6-0
Mandic (FGCU) def. Aguirre (Stetson) 6-1, 6-0
Rendon and Bechtel (FGCU) def. Aguirre and Day (UNF), 8-3
M. Van Rensburg/J. Diamod (Samford) def. Narzissenfeld and Mandic (FGCU), 8-3