FORT MYERS, Fla. – After a stellar 6-3 Atlantic Sun conference record, the third-seeded FGCU women’s tennis team is hoping to make a historic run in its first-ever A-Sun Tournament on Friday, April 20 in a quarterfinal match against sixth-seeded Jacksonville at 4 p.m. at the Buddy Hartsell Courts in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Eagles (9-10, 6-3 A-Sun) earned the No. 3 seed after winning two matches on the road in Nashville against Lipscomb (5-2) and Belmont (7-0) last weekend. The Green and Blue went 6-3 in conference to tie the most ever wins since the 2010 season. FGCU was ruled eligible for postseason play in all 14 of its Division I sports on August 12, 2011 after going through the transitional period the previous four years.
The Green and Blue are led by freshman Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS), who has a 9-10 record at No. 1 singles, followed by junior Morgan Bechtel (Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy) at No. 2 singles. Senior Jen Evans (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) and sophomore Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/DeKuilen HS) play at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions, respectively. Bechtel and Botha led the team with 6-3 conference records to pace the Eagles.
FGCU rounds out its singles lineup with sophomore Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) and freshman Marina Diez (Miami, Fla./West Broward HS) at No. 5 and No. 6.
In doubles, the team of Evans and Mandic are at No. 1, followed by Bechtel and Diez at No. 2. The squad of Botha and Means are at the No. 3 doubles position for the Eagles. Evans and Mandic lead the team with a 12-7 dual match record.
Jacksonville (7-12, 4-5 A-Sun) is coming off a 1-1 weekend, with a victory against Mercer (7-0) and a loss against Kennesaw State (6-1) heading into the A-Sun Tournament. The Dolphins are led by Aline Staudt, who has a 12-7 record at No. 1 singles, including a 4-5 mark in conference action. The Eagles defeated Jacksonville 6-1 back on March 31, however with the Dolphins hold a 3-2 lead in the all-time series.
The winner of the match will play second-seeded ETSU (11-8, 7-2 A-Sun) on Saturday, April 21 at 4 p.m.
Results from the match will be available at www.FGCUAthletics.com at the conclusion of the competition.