GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Highlighted by one doubles and three singles wins, the FGCU women's tennis team completed the second step of the fall season as day one of the Bedford Cup came to an end in The Swamp Thursday.
Still standing in the main singles draw to represent FGCU in Friday’s round of 32 are Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Candela Munoz Giron (Alicante, Spain/Troy), while Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) remain alive in the doubles draw for Friday’s round of 16.
“We had some really great opportunities to grow today,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “Some of the girls embraced the challenges while competing. I am excited to see growth and desire to learn. I’m looking forward to more competition and opportunities for them tomorrow. ”
Day one of the battle for state glory began with doubles play where Sterkel and Botha prevailed through a tough matchup against Mina Matsuba and Gaby Chinchilla of Bethune-Cookman, claiming an 8-6 win. The pair of Eagles will face Sofia Baptista and Clare Mendell of UCF tomorrow. FGCU’s other doubles team of sisters Elizabeth and Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) exhibited a never-say-die attitude during their contest against Courtney Griffith and Courtney Cesarini of UCF, but fell in a tough 8-7 (7-4) loss.
The day progressed into the first round of the main singles bracket where Munoz Giron earned her first win for the Green in Blue as she shut out Valentine Beresinste of B-CU a perfect 6-0, 6-0. She will look to extended her stay in the draw tomorrow as she faces tournament No. 6 seed Kristina Schleich of FSU.
“I’m very happy with my performance today,” Munoz Giron said. “It’s always good to win, but I’m even more excited because it was my first win as an Eagle. I’d like to thank my coach and teammates for all the support.”
Earning the other FGCU victory in the main draw was Elizabeth Means with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Atlantic Sun rival Mayablue Staudder-MacDowell of Stetson. In tomorrow’s round of 32 she will battle tournament No. 7 seed Loreto Alonso of USF.
In Thursday morning’s Round of 62, the remaining three Eagles showed their opponents a good fight but ultimately fell short. Taking her opponent into three sets was Sarah Means, but her resilience wasn’t enough to claim the match as she fell 6-2, 2-6, 2-6 to Olga Martinez of USF, who beat Munoz Giron 6-4, 6-4 last month. Following her loss in the main draw, Means continued on to play in the consolation bracket, claiming a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win over BC-U’s Gaby Chinchilla.
Exiting the main draw after their doubles victory were Botha, suffering a 6-3, 6-0 defeat to Stetson’s Andrea Crespo, and Sterkel, dropping in a similar fashion 6-0, 6-3 to Courtney Cesarini of UCF, who beat Munoz Giron 6-2, 6-1 earlier this season.
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis at the Bedford Cup follow us on Twitter at @FGCU_WTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available at the end of each day.
Thursday, September 26:
Doubles First Round (Rnd of 32)
Botha/Sterkel (FGCU) d. Matsuba/Chinchilla (BCU), 8-6
Griffith/Cesarini (UCF) d. Means/Means (FGCU) 8-7 (7-4)
Singles First Round (Rnd of 64)
Candela Munoz (FGCU) d. Valentina Beresinste (BCU), 6-0, 6-0
Elizabeth Means (FGCU) d. Mayablue Staudder-MacDowell (Stetson), 6-4, 6-4
Cortney Cesarini (UCF) d. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU), 6-0, 6-3
Andrea Crespo (Stetson) d. Bettina Botha (FGCU), 6-3, 6-0
Olga Martinez (USF) d. Sarah Means (FGCU), 6-2, 2-6, 6-2
Consolation Singles First Round (Rnd of 32)
Sarah Means (FGCU) d. Gabby Chinchilla (BCU), 6-2, 4-6, 6-0
Elizabeth Clayton (FAMU) d. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU), walkover
Bettina Botha (FGCU) - BYE
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, September 27:
Singles Second Round
Singles Round of 16
Doubles Round of 16
Saturday, September 28:
Sunday, September 29: