FORT MYERS, Fla. – After falling behind 3-0 in the match, the FGCU women’s tennis team rallied with four straight singles wins to pull off a comeback victory against Atlantic Sun rival Stetson, 4-3 on Senior Day on Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
The Eagles improve to 7-9 (4-3 A-Sun) on the season and Stetson falls to 11-6 (4-3 A-Sun). It marks the first time FGCU has defeated Stetson and improves its home conference record to 4-1.
With the match tied at 3-3, sophomore Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) earned a tough three set win against Jen Miller, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, to clinch the win for FGCU. With the victory, the Eagles pull into a tie for third place with Stetson and can clinch an A-Sun tournament berth with one more win or a USC Upstate loss.
FGCU opened the match by dropping two of the three doubles matches to fall behind 1-0 against the Hatters. Senior Jen Evans (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) and Mandic lost 8-1 against Sara Lazarevic and Stauffer-MacDowell, at No. 1 doubles. The team of sophomore Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/DeKuilen HS) and freshman Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) lost at No. 3 doubles against Diana Bukajeva and Jen Miller, 8-3.
In the final doubles match, junior Morgan Bechtel (Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy) and freshman Marina Diez (Miami, Fla./West Broward HS) earned a win against Shannon Gunning and Lindsey Cable, 8-5, at No. 2 doubles.
In singles, Stetson took a 3-0 lead after winning in straight sets at No. 2 and No. 4 singles. Gunning defeated Evans, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 2 and Bukajeva took down Diez, 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4.
The Eagles started the rally when Means won in straight sets against Lazarevic, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 1 singles. Botha cut the lead to 3-2 after a win against Cable, 6-2, 7-5, at No. 5 singles.
Bechtel would even the match with a tough victory over Tatje, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, at No. 3 singles.
The Green and Blue head to the Music City to end the season on the road against Lipscomb and Belmont on Friday, April 13 at 2 p.m. and Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. in Nashville, Tenn.
Results and recaps will be available on www.FGCUathletics.com after each match this season.
Florida Gulf Coast University 4, Stetson 3
1. Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Sara Lazarevic (STET) 6-2, 6-2
2. Shannon Gunning (STET) def. Jen Evans (FGCU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Morgan Bechtel (FGCU) def. Clarke Tatje (STET) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
4. Diana Bukajeva (STET) def. Marina Diez (FGCU) 6-0, 6-0
5. Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Lindsey Cable (STET) 6-2, 7-5
6. Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) def. Jen Miller (STET) 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
1. MB StaufferMacDowell/Sara Lazarevic (STET) def. Jen Evans/Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) 8-1
2. Morgan Bechtel/Marina Diez (FGCU) def. Shannon Gunning/Lindsey Cable (STET) 8-5
3. Diana Bukajeva/Jen Miller (STET) def. Bettina Botha/Sarah Means (FGCU) 8-3
Stetson 11-6, 4-3 A-Sun
Florida Gulf Coast University 7-9, 4-3
A-Sun Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (4,2,1,5,3,6)