FORT MYERS, Fla. – A 6-1 victory over visiting USC Upstate on Saturday at the FGCU Tennis Complex landed the FGCU women’s tennis team its first Atlantic Sun Conference win of the spring season. The Eagles took all three doubles contests to win the opening point and went on to take five of the six singles matches behind straight-set wins from freshman Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) and junior Jen Evans (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS).
The Eagles improved to 4-2 (1-2 A-Sun) on the spring season, while picking up their first league win. The Spartans dropped to 0-9 (0-2 A-Sun) this season.
"I am very pleased with the new doubles teams. They brought great energy and adjusted quickly to each other,” said third-year head coach Jennifer Gabou. “Looking ahead, Toledo is a strong team as is Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State. The next three matches will bring fantastic competition that will push our team. I'm looking forward to seeing how we respond."
Following a realignment of the doubles pairings, the Eagles swept the three matches to open the competition. Senior Iris Rendon (San Antonio, Texas/Tyler Junior College) teamed with Botha to earn an 8-1 win over the pair of Karen Martinez and Ana-Sofia Camberos, and the tandem of freshman Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) and sophomore Morgan Bechtel (Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy) defeated Maria Tonani and Talia Rojas by the same result. In the No. 3 spot, the duo of sophomore Bibiana Almeida (Porto, Portugal/Schiller International School) and Evans made quick work of Upstate’s Catherine Estupinan and Samantha Knopsnyder, 8-0.
The Blue and Green nearly made the clean sweep of the match, picking up five of the six singles contests at the competition. Completing their matches in less than 45 minutes, neither Evans nor Botha dropped a game, each recording straight-set victories, 6-0, 6-0. In the No. 1 position, Rendon turned away Camberos, 6-0, 6-3, and Bechtel defeated Tonani, 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 3 spot. Mandic tallied the other point for the Eagles with her 6-2, 6-4 win over Rojas at No. 5 singles.
FGCU will stay in southwest Florida as it prepares for another dual with Toledo on Monday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex beginning at 2:30 p.m. Results and recaps from the competition will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com following the match.
1) Rendon and Botha (FGCU) def. Martinez and Camberos (Upstate), 8-1
2) Mandic and Bechtel (FGCU) def. Tonani and Rojas (Upstate), 8-1
3) Almeida and Evans (FGCU) def. Estupinan and Knopsnyder (Upstate), 8-0
1) Iris Rendon (FGCU) def. Ana-Sofia Camberos (Upstate), 6-0, 6-3
2) Karen Martinez (Upstate) def. Bibiana Almeida (FGCU), 6-4, 4-6, 10-6
3) Morgan Bechtel (FGCU) def. Maria Tonani (Upstate), 6-2, 6-1
4) Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Catherine Estupinan (Upstate), 6-0, 6-0
5) Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) def. Talia Rojas (Upstate), 6-2, 6-4
6) Jen Evans (FGCU) def. Samantha Knopsnyder (Upstate), 6-0, 6-0