MIAMI – After winning less than half of its matches in day one of the FIU Panther Invitational, the FGCU women’s tennis team did just the opposite in day two as it picked up wins in five of its eight matches. Highlighting the day were singles wins from Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) advancing them into tomorrow morning’s finals.
“I’m very thankful the girls had another day of competition,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “I’m very proud and excited for Sarah and Bettina to play in the finals tomorrow. The girls are constantly showing a willingness to get better, which is awesome. We are looking forward to another day of competition tomorrow and the chance to bring home some titles.”
They day began with doubles play where the Eagles posted a near perfect record. Sisters Sarah and Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) led the success as they picked up wins in both their matches in the No. 1 doubles backdraw. Playing two intense contests, the sisters got the ball rolling with a 9-7 defeat over Liberty’s Valeria Thong and Brittany Yang. The continued on to beat another pair from Liberty, putting an 8-6 win over Maria Khval and Belen Rivera.
Picking up another doubles win was the duo of Botha and Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) as they also took down Liberty’s Khval and Rivera in an easy 8-2 fashion. Despite pushing the match into an extra point of play, Botha and Sterkel couldn’t cap a perfect day as they fell 9-8 to Thong and Yang.
The Means sisters tied the ribbon on an unbeaten day as they transitioned into the singles draws. Shining to earn a spot in the No. 1 singles championship match was Sarah Means with a 6-4, 6-0 win on FIU’s Nina Nagode. Means returns to the court tomorrow looking to pick up a main-draw title as she faces Barry’s Karina Goia at 9 a.m.
Following the path her older sister blazed was Elizabeth Means with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Liberty’s Rebekah Jenkins in the backdraw of the No. 2 singles bracket. She will return tomorrow to play FIU’s Giulietta Boha at 9 a.m.
Staying alive in the No. 3 singles main draw was Botha with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 win over Yang from Liberty. Botha will return tomorrow to give the Eagles another opportunity to win a main-draw title as she faces FIU’s Kamila Pavelkova at 10:30 a.m.
Dropping a match in singles consolation play was Sterkel as she fell 7-5, 6-2 to Khval of Liberty.
Day two of the Panther Invitational begins tomorrow at 9 a.m. as all four from FGCU play in a singles match.
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis at the FIU Invitational 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.
Means/ Means (FGCU) def. Thong/Yang (LU) – 9-7
Means/ Means (FGCU) def. Khval/Rivera (LU) – 8-6
Sterkel/Botha (FGCU) def. Khval/Rivera (LU) – 8-2
Thong/Yang (LU) def. Sterkel/Botha (FGCU) – 9-8
No. 1 Singles
Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Nina Nagode (FIU) – 6-4, 6-0
Maria Khval (LU) def. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) – 7-5, 6-2
No. 2 Singles Back Draw
Elizabeth Means (FGCU) def. Rebekah Jenkins (LU) - 7-6 (4), 6-3
No. 3 Singles Main Draw
Bettina Both (FGCU) def. Brittany Yang (LU) - 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
Elisabeth Abanda/Karina Goia (BU) def. Means/Means (FGCU) – 8-2
Tina Moharcic/Nina Nagode (FIU) def. Sterkel/Botha (FGCU) – 8-5
No. 1 Singles
Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Elisabeth Abanda (BU) – 6-1, 6-0
Carlotta Orlando (FIU) def. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) – 6-3, 6-0
No. 2 Singles
Belen Rivera (LU) def. Elizabeth Means (FGCU) – 7-5, 6-2
No. 3 Singles
Bettina Both (FGCU) def. Annisha Domenech (LU) – 6-4, 6-1
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Sunday, November 3: