FGCU Starts Strong at Bedford Cup
Friday, November 02, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@Pierson_SID)
Sophomore Sarah Means advanced to the Round of 16 with a 6-0, 6-2 second round win. (Photo by J. Meric)
Sophomore Sarah Means advanced to the Round of 16 with a 6-0, 6-2 second round win. (Photo by J. Meric)

TAMPA, Fla. – A trio of singles wins and a doubles victory highlighted a successful opening day for the FGCU women’s tennis at the Bedford Cup hosted by USF. Three players advanced out of the opening round of the singles main draw with sophomore Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) moving on to Saturday’s Round of 16.

“It’s been great to watch our team improve from the first event until now,” said head coach Jen Gabou. “Through hard work they’ve really improved and I’m excited to see Sarah (Means) in the Round of 16 tomorrow and then take to the court for doubles with Elizabeth (Means).”

In singles action, Sarah Means was given a bye in the opening round and came out firing in the afternoon with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Alexis Dean of Florida A&M. Means will face off against Miami’s Nichole Stracar in the Round of 16.

It was a pair of freshmen supplying the other two singles wins for the Eagles, as Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) made it out of the morning session, but fell in the second round. Means turned in an impressive straight set 6-0, 6-4 win over UNF’s Weymar before falling to Miami’s Deborah Suarez.

Sterkel’s day started with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over UNF’s Mariella Calderon. After falling in the first set to UCF’s Courtney Griffith by a 6-1 score, Sterkel fought right back with a 6-1 triumph over her own to force a third set. Griffith eventually got the best of Sterkel, taking the hard-fought match with a 10-6 final set.

Sarah teamed with her sister Elizabeth in doubles action, as the duo received a bye in the opening round and followed with a convincing 8-0 triumph against Williams and Dena of Florida A&M. The Means sisters will return to the court on Saturday to take on Dubbins and Stracar of Miami.

Round of 64 – Friday
Sarah Means (FGCU) – Bye
Elizabeth Means (FGCU) def. Symone Towsend (FAMU) – 6-0, 6-4
Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) def. Mariella Calderon (UNF) – 6-2, 6-3
Elysia Ortiz (FAMU) def. Zhoe Solaun (FAMU) – 6-2, 7-6(3)

Round of 32 – Friday
Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Alexis Dean (FAMU) – 6-0, 6-2
Deborah Suarez (Miami) def. Elizabeth Means (FGCU) – 6-3, 6-0
Courtney Griffith (UCF) def. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) – 6-1, 1-6, 10-6

Round of 16 – Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
Sarah Means (FGCU) vs. Nichole Stracar (Miami)

Round of 32 - Friday
Means/Means (FGCU) – Bye
Sargeant/Vriens (FSU) def. Sterkel/Solaun (FGCU) – 8-1

Round of 16 – Friday
Means/Means (FGCU) def. Williams/Dean (FAMU) – 8-0

Quarterfinals – Saturday
Means/Means (FGCU) vs. Dubbins/Stracar (Miami)

Zhoe/Solaun (FGCU) vs. Stephanie Miller (FAMU) – 9 a.m.