ORLANDO, Fla. – After the most successful season in program history, highlighted by a program Division-I record 11 victories and another trip to the Atlantic Sun Conference postseason, the FGCU women’s tennis team starts its 2013 Fall campaign on Friday at the three-day UCF Invitational.
Leading the Eagles into the season is new head coach Courtney Vernon. Before joining the Green and Blue, Vernon served as the assistant women’s tennis coach for her alma mater, USF.
Last season the Eagles posted a program-best 11-7 record and advanced to the semifinals in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, marking their second straight season with postseason wins. The Eagles coupled their winning season with an FGCU record-breaking 3.78 spring GPA, the highest GPA ever recorded by a team in a semester. The 3.78 team GPA marked the fifth straight year the women’s tennis program has had the highest mark in at least one semester during the academic year.
Lean Mean Winning Machines
Returning to the Eagles are Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and her younger sister Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS). Last year Sarah was a member of the All-Atlantic Sun Second Team and Academic All-Conference Team after posting an 8-9 record at the No. 1 singles slot. Elizabeth was named to the All-Freshman Team after finishing 12-3 in No.5 singles. The sisters finished 10-5 when they took to the court together for doubles play.
One of the team’s two seniors, Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS), was a strong presence in the No. 6 position in the FGCU singles lineup by posting an 11-5 overall record, while going 5-2 against A-Sun competition last season. The other, Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies), played in the No. 2 spot, posting a 6-12 overall and 2-6 A-Sun record.
Go With Jo
In 2012-13, now sophomore Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) had an overall record of 13-5 to name her on the All-Freshman Team. In the No. 3 singles spot, Sterkel went 8-5 and in the No. 4 slot a perfect 4-0.
Junior Candela Munoz (Giron Alicante, Spain/Troy) joins FGCU after spending her sophomore season at Troy where she posted a 17-12 overall singles record and a 20-9 doubles record.
Joined by Florida Atlantic and USF, the quartet of teams will meet in Orlando to play one doubles and one singles match each day. Doubles play will start each day followed by a 10-minute break before singles. Match results will not affect the Eagles’ overall team record and will be played in Winter Park at both the Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex and the Tiedtke Tennis Courts. A full schedule of the weekend matchups is below.
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis at the UCF Invite visit www.FGCUAthletics.com for full recaps, and results will be available at the end of each day.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, Sept. 27
FGCU vs. UCF @ 10:00 a.m. (Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex)
USF vs. FAU @ 10:00 a.m. (Tiedtke Tennis Courts)
FGCU vs. USF (Tiedtke Tennis Courts)
FAU vs. UCF (Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex)
Saturday, Sept. 28
FAU vs. UCF @ 10:00 a.m. (Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex)
FGCU vs. USF @ 10:00 a.m. (Tiedtke Tennis Courts)
USF vs. UCF (Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex)
FAU vs. FGCU (Tiedtke Tennis Courts)
Sunday, Sept. 29
USF vs. UCF @ 10:00 a.m. (Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex)
FGCU vs. FAU @ 10:00 a.m. (Tiedtke Tennis Courts)
FGCU vs. UCF (Bert W. Martin Tennis Complex)
FAU vs. USF (Tiedtke Tennis Courts)