JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The FGCU women’s tennis team won a competitive doubles point, but fell short in singles to drop a tough semifinal match against Atlantic Sun conference foe ETSU, 4-1, in the A-Sun Championships on Saturday at Milligan College.
The Eagles end their season at 10-11 (6-3 A-Sun) and ETSU improves to 12-8 (7-2 A-Sun). The Bucs have a chance to win back-to-back A-Sun titles on Sunday.
With ETSU leading 3-1, Marine Wieliczko clinched the match with a straight sets win against sophomore Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/DeKuilen HS), 7-5, 6-2 at No. 3 singles. Botha finished the season with a team-best 12-8 dual match record.
The Green and Blue opened the match by winning a hard fought doubles point to take a 1-0 lead against ETSU. At No. 1 doubles, the team of junior Morgan Bechtel (Toledo, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy) and freshman Marina Diez (Miami, Fla./West Broward HS) lost to Paula Jaime and Wieliczko, 8-2. Senior Jen Evans (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) and sophomore Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) defeated Diana Navrostska and Karina Kedzo, 8-5, at No. 2 doubles. Mandic and Evans finished the season with a four-match winning streak, along with a team-best 13-3 dual match record at No. 2 doubles.
In the final doubles match, Botha and freshman Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) clinched the point with a back-and-forth 9-7 victory against Jessica Brumit and Giulia Andreazza, at No. 3 doubles.
In singles, Brumit tied the match at 1-1 with a straight sets win against Diez, 6-3, 6-0, at No. 6 singles. ETSU took the lead after Andreazza defeated Bechtel, 7-5, 6-0, at No. 2 singles. Bechtel had tied the first set at 5-5, before losing the final two games.
The Bucs took a 3-1 advantage when Kedzo won in straight sets against Evans, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 4 singles.
Two FGCU players went unfinished in its matches as in postseason play the first team to secure four points wins the match. Means was trailing in the third set against Jaime, 4-6, 6-2, 3-0, at No. 1 singles. Means won a tough first set, 6-4, but lost the second set to force a third. Mandic was also down in the second set against Navrostska, 7-6 (7-4), 4-3, when ETSU clinched the win. Mandic had a 6-5 lead in the first set but fell in the tiebreaker 7-4, at No. 5 singles.
The Green and Blue has 10 victories and earned a No. 3 seed in their first-ever A-Sun Championships. Means was named to the A-Sun All-Conference second team and selected to the All-Freshman team. Botha and Bechtel were honored as All-Academic team members with Botha being a unanimous selection. FGCU returns five of its six starters in the singles lineup in hopes of a return trip to the A-Sun Championships next season.
ETSU 4, Florida Gulf Coast University 1
1. Paula Jaime (ETSU) vs. Sarah Means (FGCU) 4-6, 6-2, 3-0, unfinished
2. Giulia Andreazza (ETSU) def. Morgan Bechtel (FGCU) 7-5, 6-0
3. Marine Wieliczko (ETSU) def. Bettina Botha (FGCU) 7-5, 6-2
4. Karina Kedzo (ETSU) def. Jen Evans (FGCU) 6-4, 6-3
5. Diana Navrostska (ETSU) vs. Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) 7-6 (7-4), 4-3, unfinished
6. Jessica Brumit (ETSU) def. Marina Diez (FGCU) 6-3, 6-0
1. Paula Jaime/Marine Wieliczko (ETSU) def. Morgan Bechtel/Marina Diez (FGCU) 8-2
2. Gyanna Mandic/Jen Evans (FGCU) def. Diana Navrostska/Karina Kedzo (ETSU) 8-5
3. Bettina Botha/Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Jessica Brumit/Giulia Andreazza (ETSU) 9-7
Florida Gulf Coast University 10-11, 6-3 A-Sun
ETSU 12-8, 7-2 A-Sun
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,2,4,3)
Atlantic Sun Semifinals
No. 2 ETSU vs. No. 3 FGCU