FORT MYERS, Fla. – Making its home debut under first-year head coach Courtney Vernon, the FGCU women’s tennis team started its spring campaign with a dominant 6-1 win over Big XII Conference member Iowa State Friday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
“Today was a great opportunity for the girls,” Vernon said. “There were challenges on the court with the new ITA rules about scoring and time in between play. The team stepped up to these challenges and competed hard the entire time. We have a lot to work on but overall a good day for FGCU women’s tennis. We’re looking forward to taking this momentum with us into the tournament tomorrow.”
The Eagles set the pace early as they quickly claimed the doubles point winning all three matches. The No. 3 pair of Breana Stampfli (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago/St. Joseph’s Convent) and Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) picked up the first Eagle win with a 6-0 beat down over Iowa State’s Caroline Anderson and Emma Waites. Next to finish were Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) winning the No. 1 match, 6-3, over Ksenia Pronina and Samantha Budai. Ending doubles play were Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) with a 6-4 win over Ana Gasparovic and Meghan Cassens.
Once singles play started the Eagles didn’t slow down. Picking up the first win was Elizabeth Means in the No. 5 slots with a 6-3, 6-1 defeat over Lydia Green. Mandic earned the next point for the Green and Blue as she cruised to a 6-2, 6-3, win over Anderson in the No. 6 slot. Winning the No. 2 match was Stampfli with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-2 victory over Budai. Claiming point number five for the Eagles was Sarah Means 6-4, 7-5, win against Pronina in the No. 1 slot.
Demonstrating the newly sanctioned ITA third-set tiebreaker were Sterkel and Botha in the No. 3 and 4 slots, respectively. After winning the first set 6-4, Sterkel fell 5-7 in the second but regained control in the end winning the tiebreak 10-6 over Cassens. Botha fought through a grueling battle but ultimately fell to Gasparovic 7-6, 5-7, 10-5.
The Green and Blue will return to the action of open weekend as they host Iowa State, Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic and Northwestern State University (Louisiana) in the FGCU Spring Invitational running from Saturday through Monday with play beginning at 9:00 AM each day.
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis this weekend 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.
Order of finish: (3,1,2)
No. 1: E Means/S Means def. Pronina/Budai – 6-3
No. 2: Sterkel/Botha def. Gasparovic/Cassens – 6-4
No. 3: Mandic/Stampfli def. Anderson/Waites – 6-0
Order of finish: (5, 6, 2, 1, 3, 4)
No. 1: Sarah Means def. Ksenia Pronina – 6-4, 7-5
No. 2: Breana Stampfli def. Samantha Budai – 7-6 (8-6), 6-2
No. 3: Johanna Sterkel def. Meghan Cassens – 6-4, 5-7, 10-6
No. 4: Ana Gasparovic def. Bettina Botha – 7-6, 5-7, 10-5
No. 5: Elizabeth Means def. Lydia Green – 6-3, 6-1
No. 6: Gyanna Mandic def. Caroline Anderson – 6-2, 6-3
8 AM - First round of Singles play begins
10:30 AM - Second round of singles play begins
1-2 PM - Break for lunch
2 PM - Doubles play begins
4 PM - Matches finished
9 AM - Doubles play begins
10 AM - First round singles play
1:00 PM - Break for lunch
2:00 PM - Second round of singles play begins
4:30 PM - Matches finished
9 am - Final rounds of singles and Doubles