FORT MYERS, Fla. – Backed by a spectacular performance in singles play, the FGCU women’s tennis team picked up its third win in the Atlantic Sun conference, downing Kennesaw State, 6-1, Friday morning at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
The Eagles improve to 10-7 (3-2 A-Sun) on the season, while the Owls falter to 4-7 (1-2 A-Sun).
“Today was exactly how we wanted to begin this final stretch in our regular season,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “The girls played with purpose, which was very apparent in their game. We’re looking forward to bringing today’s momentum into our last home match tomorrow against Mercer.”
Starting its road to victory, FGCU collected wins in two doubles matches for an early 1-0 advantage. Finding success in the No. 2 position, in dominant fashion, were partners Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) as they routed Kennesaw State’s Gabriela Bueno and Tamara Plocher to an 8-1 setback. Clinching the point for the Eagles was in win in the No. 3 match by Breana Stampfli (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago/St. Joseph’s Convent) and Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) as they downed Jana Hueckinghaus and Blaire LaSure 8-4.
The Green and Blue dominated singles play, winning five matches in straight sets while holding their opponents a scoring average of just one game in each.
Finishing in under 35 minutes, and leaving her opponent blank, was Candela Munoz (Alicante, Spain/Troy), as she took 12-straight games from Isabela Castro for a 6-0, 6-0 win at four-singles. Munoz’s record improves to a near-perfect 4-1 in conference play and 13-2 overall.
Next off was Botha finding victory in the six-singles slot. The senior handed KSU’s Gabriela Bueno a 6-2 decision in the first set and took the second a quick 6-1 for the overall win.
Clinching the match for the Eagles was Sterkel after a powerful win in the No. 3 position. Holding the Owls’ Jana Hueckinghaus to only two games, Sterkel took the match 6-2, 6-0.
Rounding out the five wins were Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Stampfli playing No. 5 and No. 2, respectively. Means clinched a 6-2, 6-3 victory from Tamara Plocher, while Stampfli defeated Alexandra Apostu 6-1, 6-2.
The Green and Blue will end action at home as they welcome Mercer on Mar. 29 at 6 p.m. for Senior Night. For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis this season 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.
FGCU: 6 Kennesaw State: 1
1. Alexandra Apostu/Virginie Stein (KSU) def. Elizabeth Means/Sarah Means (FGCU) 8-3
2. Bettina Botha/Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) def. Gabriela Bueno/Tamara Plocher (KSU) 8-1
3. Breana Stampfli/Gyanna Mandic (FGCU) def. Jana Hueckinghaus/Blaire LaSure (KSU) 8-4
Order of finish: (2,3,1)
1. Virginie Stein (KSU) def. Sarah Means (FGCU) 6-2, 6-3
2. Breana Stampfli (FGCU) def. Alexandra Apostu (KSU) 6-1, 6-2
3. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) def. Jana Hueckinghaus (KSU) 6-2, 6-0
4. Candela Munoz Giron (FGCU) def. Isabela Castro (KSU) 6-0, 6-0
5. Elizabeth Means (FGCU) def. Tamara Plocher (KSU) 6-2, 6-3
6. Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Gabriela Bueno (KSU) 6-2, 6-1
Order of finish: (4,6,3,5,2,1)