FORT MYERS, Fla. – With troubling winds and an overcast sky, the FGCU women’s tennis team fell 6-1 to Minnesota on Monday night at the FGCU Tennis Complex. The Eagles fall to 7-6 on the season, while the Golden Gophers improve to 11-3.
“Minnesota challenged us today,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “They handled the wind and took opportunities. There is a lot we can take away from this match as we prepare to face Stetson on Wednesday.”
Although the Eagles failed to claim the doubles point, Sara Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) found success in the their match, picking up their third-straight win. Facing of Minnesota’s Tereza Brichacova and Jessika Mozia in the No. 1 position, the match stayed on serve until a break near the end gave the Means sisters an advantage, leading to their ultimate win at 8-6. Both the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles contests ended with an 8-5 decision in favor of the Gophers.
Earning the Green and Blue’s sole point was Candela Munoz (Alicante, Spain/Troy) after a straight-set win over Minnesota’s Julia Courter in four singles. The first set stayed on serve forcing a tie break at six all. After attacking Courter’s game to get up a break, Munoz took the lead and the win at 7-6 (5). With Courter trying to pull a comeback and force a third set, the scoring remained close in the second but Munoz proved to be too much, as she found victory at the 6-4 mark. The Triumph brings Munoz’s win count to nine, the team’s highest.
Taking her match through three close sets was Sarah Means, but her efforts came up short as she fell to Tereza Brichacova in the No. 1 slot. After Means took the opening set 6-4, Brichacova fought back to claim the second 7-5. In the deciding 10-point third set, Brichacova’s game was hitting on all cylinders leading to a win at 10-3 for the overall victory.
The Green and Blue will continue play in the Atlantic Sun Conference as they welcome Stetson on Mar. 19 at 11 a.m., and North Florida on Mar. 21 at 10 a.m. For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis this season, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available.
FGCU: 1 Minnesota: 6
1. Sarah Means/Elizabeth Means (FGCU) def. Tereza Brichacova/Jessika Mozia (MINN) 8-6
2. Julia Courter/Natallia Pintusava (MINN) def. Bettina Botha/Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) 8-5
3. Aria Lambert/Paula Rincon Otero (MINN) def. Gyanna Mandic/Candela Munoz Giron (FGCU) 8-5
1. Tereza Brichacova (MINN) def. Sarah Means (FGCU) 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-3)
2. Natallia Pintusava (MINN) def. Breana Stampfli (FGCU) 6-0, 6-2
3. Jessika Mozia (MINN) def. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) 7-5, 6-4
4. Candela Munoz Giron (FGCU) def. Julia Courter (MINN) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
5. Aria Lambert (MINN) def. Elizabeth Means (FGCU) 6-0, 6-1
6. Paula Rincon Otero (MINN) def. Bettina Botha (FGCU) 6-3, 6-3