FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s tennis team won the doubles point and won five singles matches en route to a victory over Bethune-Cook, 6-1, on Sunday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
“This was a good team win for us and I am glad to see freshman Sarah Means respond today with her first dual match victory at No. 1 singles,” said head coach Jennifer Gabou. “We have a long season ahead of us but this was a great building block today.”
The teams played the six singles matches first and the Eagles took control by winning at No. 4 singles when junior Morgan Bechtel (Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy) won in straight sets against Shereen Peterson-Paul, 6-0, 6-1.
The Wildcats tied the match at 1-1 when Chinatsu Kajiwara defeated freshman Marina Diez (Miami, Fla./West Broward HS), 6-2, 6-2, at No. 2 singles.
FGCU regained the lead for good when senior Jen Evans (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) won in straight sets against Stacey Speller, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4), at No. 3 singles. Evans was able to win the tough second set tiebreaker, 7-4, to give the Eagles a 2-1 lead overall.
Sophomore Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) won in the third set against Gvantsa Robakidze, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, at No. 6 singles. Mandic dropped the second set, 5-7, before coming back to win the third set, 6-2.
The Eagles clinched the victory when sophomore Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/DeKuilen HS) won in straight sets over Gaby Chinchilla, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2), at No. 5 singles. Botha closed the match in the second set tiebreaker, 7-2.
In the final singles match, freshman Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) pulled out a win in the third set against Katarina Szaboova, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, at No. 1 singles. Means picked up her first collegiate dual match win after winning the third set, 6-3.
In doubles, FGCU swept the doubles point by winning all three of the doubles matches. The team of Means and Botha won easily against Speller and Peterson-Paul, 8-2, at No. 3 doubles. Bechtel and Diez won their match by default at No. 1 doubles over Szaboova and Robakidze. In the final doubles match, Mandic and Evans won against Chinchilla and Kajiwara, 8-7 (7-5), at No. 2 doubles.
The Green and Blue return to the court in two weeks against in-state rival UCF on Feb. 18 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 6, Bethune Cookman 1
1. Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Katarina Szaboova (B-CU) 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
2. Chinatsu Kajiwara (B-CU) def. Marina Diez (FGCU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Jen Evans (FGCU) def. Stacey Speller (B-CU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Morgan Bechtel (FGCU) def. Shereen Peter-Paul (B-CU) 6-0, 6-1
5. Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Gaby Chinchilla (B-CU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
6. Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) def. Gvantsa Robakidze (B-CU) 6-4, 5-7, 6-2
1. Morgan Bechtel/Marina Diez (FGCU) def. Katarina Szaboova/Gvantsa Robakidze (B-CU), by default
2. Gyanna Mandic/Jen Evans (FGCU) def. Gaby Chinchilla/Chinatsu Kajiwara (B-CU) 8-7 (7-5)
3. Sarah Means/Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Stacey Speller/Shereen Peter-Paul (B-CU) 8-2
Bethune Cookman 2-2
Florida Gulf Coast University 1-1
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (4,2,3,6,5,1)