FORT MYERS, Fla. – After 36 days without a match on its home court, the FGCU women’s tennis team picked up its third-straight victory with a 4-1 win over the University of Evansville on Tuesday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
The Eagles move to 6-4 on the season, while the Purple Aces falter to 3-7.
“We pulled out a good victory today,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “We were challenged in many ways, which is great because those challenging moments bring opportunities for growth. I’m grateful we had another opportunity to compete before beginning conference play on Friday.”
The afternoon began with hard-fought doubles play, where the Purple Aces pulled ahead for a 1-0 lead after finishing on the up end of two close matches. After Candela Munoz (Alicante, Spain/Troy) and Breana Stampfli (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago/St. Joseph’s Convent) made quick work of their opponents for an 8-3 win of the No. 3 match, partners Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) came up short of a victory in the No. 2 slot, falling 8-6 to Marina Moreno and Marketa Trousilova. With doubles play knotted at one win each, the No. 1 match showcasing Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) against Kelsey Costales and Natasha James was tied as well, with each pair possessing seven games. In the tiebreak to determine the doubles point, Evansville jumped to a quick 5-1 lead, but the Eagles closed the gap bringing the score to 6-4. Needing three opportunities to end the match, the Purple Aces reached the seven-point mark with the Eagles still at four to give Evansville the win and an early lead.
After transitioning into singles play, it took the Green and Blue less than an hour to pull even with their opponent as Munoz flew to a shutout win in the No. 5 slot. Facing Andjela Brguljan, Munoz quickly won 12 games in a row to claim the match 6-0, 6-0.
Next to finish was Sterkel, whose win at No.3 gave the Eagles a 2-1 lead. Challenging Kelsey Costales, Sterkel needed only two sets to find victory, taking the first 6-3 and the second 6-1.
The four-singles match saw both sets end with a 6-3 decision as Elizabeth Means defeated Marina Moreno to bring the Eagles their third point in a consecutive fashion.
Clinching the match for FGCU was Stampfli with a win at No. 2. Battling against Natasha James, Stampfli took the first set 6-4 and the second a slim 7-6 (4).
The Green and Blue will begin play the Atlantic Sun Conference as they travel to ETSU on Mar. 14 and USC Upstate on Mar. 15 each at 2 p.m. For complete coverage of FGCU men’s tennis this season, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available.
FGCU: 4 Evansville: 1
1. Sarah Means (FGCU) vs. Marketa Trousilova (UE) unfinished at 6-3, 4-6, 2-1
2. Breana Stampfli (FGCU) def. Natasha James (UE) 6-4, 7-6 (7-4)
3. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) def. Kelsey Costales (UE) 6-3, 6-1
4. Elizabeth Means (FGCU) def. Marina Moreno (UE) 6-3, 6-3
5. Candela Munoz Giron (FGCU) def. Andjela Brguljan (UE) 6-0, 6-0
6. Bettina Botha (FGCU) vs. Mina Milovic (UE) unfinished at 2-6, 6-2, 4-5
1. Kelsey Costales/Natasha James (UE) def. Elizabeth Means/Sarah Means (FGCU) 8-7 (7-4)
2. Marina Moreno/Marketa Trousilova (UE) def. Johanna Sterkel/Bettina Botha (FGCU) 8-6
3. Candela Munoz/Breana Stampfli (FGCU) def. Andjela Brguljan/Mina Milovic (UE) 8-3