@FGCU_WTEN Begins Atlantic Sun Play At ETSU And USC Upstate
Thursday, March 13, 2014 | by Sara Roberts
Coach Vernon and Bettina Botha (Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson)
Coach Vernon and Bettina Botha (Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson)

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Riding a three-match win streak, the FGCU women’s tennis team begins play in the Atlantic Sun conference on the road against ETSU Friday in Johnson City and USC Upstate Saturday in Spartanburg, both at 10 a.m.

“This weekend kicks off what we’ve been preparing for since the fall,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “The girls have been training hard to get ready for conference, so we’re excited to start competing. Both of these matches last year came down to the wire, which should make for competition this year.”

The Eagles enter the weekend sitting at 6-4 on the season after three-consecutive wins. The Green and Blue took down Florida Atlantic, 5-2, on the road before beating Troy, 5-2, and Evansville, 4-1, at home.

Sitting at 4-7 overall, ETSU heads into conference play with plenty of momentum after upsetting 62nd-ranked and reigning Southern Conference champion College of Charleston on the road earlier this month. The Eagles have never defeated ETSU in the five contests between the two teams and will look to change that on Friday. In their last meeting, the Bucs traveled to The Nest where they handed FGCU a 5-2 loss. Picking up wins for the Green and Blue were Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) and Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS), both in straight sets. Botha collected the Eagles’ first point with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over ETSU’s Jessica Brumit in six-singles, before Means topped Sofia Espana, 6-2, 6-2, in the No. 5 slot.

With an overall record of 1-11, the Spartans open play in the A-Sun welcoming Stetson on Friday and FGCU Saturday. Upstate returns to action this weekend after nearly two weeks off from competition. Their last time out the Spartans fell 4-1 at home to Nicholls State. Upstate’s lone win of the season came as a 5-2 result over Presbyterian College. Trailing the all-time series against USC Upstate, FGCU will look to improve upon its 1-4 record against the Spartans. In last year’s dual match the Eagles fell a narrow 4-3 in the hard-fought contest. FGCU’s three points were the efforts of Means, Johanna Sterkel (Schwtzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS), as each of the three held their opponent to under three total games en route to straight-set victories. Sterkel topped Talia Rojas, 6-2, 6-1, in the No. 3 slot, before Sarah Means found a 6-0, 6-1 victory at No. 1 and Elizabeth Means a 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 5.

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.