FORT MYERS, Fla. – Completing a home stretch that included three matches in five days, the FGCU women’s tennis team took an impressive 6-1 victory from the University of Albany on Sunday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
The Eagles move to 8-7 on the season, while the Great Danes falter to 5-7.
“We accomplished a great win today,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “The girls competed well and were focused on what they had to do. I am happy with the way they stepped up and finished matches. We look forward to getting back to conference play at home next weekend.’
The afternoon began with hard-fought doubles play, where the Eagles pulled ahead for a 1-0 lead after finishing on the up end of two close matches. Playing No. 2 and posting the first win was the pair of Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS), after downing Albany’s Mireille Hermans and Paulina Torres a close 8-6. The score of the one-doubles match duplicated that of the No. 2 as sisters Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) topped Cheryl Kukkonen and Alba Sala to clinch the point for the Eagles.
In singles play, it took the Green and Blue needed less than two hours to take the overall match after claiming straight-set wins in four of the contests.
After Botha earned a point from a walkover in the No. 6 slot, the first to finish was Breana Stampfli (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago/St. Joseph’s Convent), flying to a shutout win in the No. 2 slot. Facing Mireille Hermans, Stapfli quickly won 12 games in a row to claim the match 6-0, 6-0.
Next to finish was Sarah Means, whose win at No.1 gave the Eagles a clinch of the match at 4-0. Challenging Cheryl Kukkonen, Means needed only two sets to find victory, taking the first 6-2 and the second a beautiful 6-0.
The four-singles contest saw Candela Munoz (Alicante, Spain/Troy) make quick work of Paulina Torres, to bring the Eagles their third point in a consecutive fashion, with a win by Munoz at 6-1, 6-3.
Ending the day on a high note was Sterkel, taking the No. 3 match for the Eagles sixth and final point. Battling against Kristen Scott, Sterkel took the first set 6-4 and the second a slim 6-3.
The Green and Blue will continue play in the Atlantic Sun Conference at The Nest as they welcome Kennesaw State on Mar. 28 at 11 a.m., and Mercer the next day at 6 p.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: 6 Albany: 1
1. Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Cheryl Kukkonen (ALB) 6-2, 6-0
2. Breana Stampfli (FGCU) def. Mireille Hermans (ALB) 6-0, 6-0
3. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) def. Kristen Scott (ALB) 6-4, 6-3
4. Candela Munoz Giron (FGCU) def. Paulina Torres (ALB) 6-1, 6-3
5. Alba Sala (ALB) def. Elizabeth Means (FGCU) 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (10-8)
6. Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Cathryn Crummey (ALB), by default
Order of finish: (6,2,1,4,5,3)
1. Elizabeth Means/Sarah Means (FGCU) def. Cheryl Kukkonen/Alba Sala (ALB) 8-6
2. Bettina Botha/Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) def. Mireille Hermans/Paulina Torres (ALB) 8-6
3. Cathryn Crummey/Kristen Scott (ALB) def. Gyanna Mandic/Breana Stampfli (FGCU) 8-6
Order of finish: (2,1,3)