MACON, Ga. – After the most successful season in the history of the FGCU women’s tennis program since joining the Division I ranks in 2007-08, four of the team’s members collected a total of six Atlantic Sun postseason honors, the league announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Junior Candela Munoz (Alicante, Spain/Troy) was selected to the All-Conference First Team, while Breana Stampfli (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago/St. Joseph’s Convent) was named Freshman of the Year and to the All-Conference Second Team. Rounding out the honors were sophomores Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS), who were both named to the Academic All-Conference squad.
“I could not be more proud of these four girls,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “They have all been incredibly focused this season and are very deserving of these honors.”
A first-year member of the Green and Blue, Munoz, a transfer from Troy University, proved to be a pivotal factor in the Eagles’ success this season. Playing the No. 4 slot in each of the eight matches, Munoz went a near-perfect 7-1 against A-Sun competition. With an overall record of 16-2, she leads the conference in wins and boasts an outstanding winning percentage of .888. Equally as impressive as her record was her ability to oust six A-Sun opponents in straight sets and hold each of the eight to a scoring average of just 2 games per set.
Another impactful rookie for the Eagles is Stampfli, named Freshman of the Year, who was also named to the All-Freshman Team. Playing two singles, she went an impressive 6-2 in conference play and 12-7 overall. Her talents were also demonstrated in doubles play, as she helped the Eagles to seven wins in the third position.
“I’m very proud of what both Candela and Breana have been able to do during their rookie seasons at FGCU,” Vernon said. “To earn 12 wins in a single season is an incredible accomplishment, but to do that during your first year on a new team is amazing.”
Sophomores Means and Sterkel are no strangers to postseason conference accolades, as both were members of the 2013 All-Freshman Team, preceding their Academic All-Conference honors this season. Holding identical records across the board, sporting a 13-7 overall mark with a 6-2 A-Sun regular-season showing, Means boasts a 3.94 GPA majoring in pre-business management, while Sterkel maintains a 3.91 GPA in finance.
“Liz and Johanna work very hard on and off the court so I’m very happy to see their dedication to academics being honored,” Vernon said.
By defeating Lipscomb, 6-1, in the regular-season finale on April 5, the Eagles collected their 13th win of the season, which set a D-I program record and marked their second winning season since joining the Division-I ranks.
Third-seeded FGCU will make its third straight appearance at the A-Sun Championship on Thursday when it takes on sixth-seeded Lipscomb in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. FGCU enters sporting an 13-7 overall mark with a 6-2 A-Sun regular-season record, while the Lady Bisons are 10-10 (3-5 A-Sun).
The winner will take on second-seeded ETSU (12-8, 7-1 A-Sun) in the semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m. Live stats are available for every match in the A-Sun Championship. Just log on to www.ATLANTICSUN.org or www.FGCUATHLETICS.com for the links along with a preview stories leading into each day. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #ASunWTEN on twitter during the weekend action.
Player of the Year: Diana Bukajeva, Stetson
Freshman of the Year: Breana Stampfli, FGCU
Coach of the Year: Audra Cohen, North Florida
First Team All-Atlantic Sun
Diana Bukajeva Stetson
*Lynn Ye Choo ETSU
Giulia Andreazza ETSU
Candela Munoz FGCU
Alexandra Apostu Kennesaw State
Virginie Stein Kennesaw State
Simona Weymar North Florida
Isabel Von Stryk USC Upstate
Second Team All-Atlantic Sun
By Position (Singles)
#1 Maria Voscekova Northern Kentucky
#2 Breana Stampfli FGCU
#3 Anna Gerbasi ETSU
#4 Taylor Hollander North Florida
#5 Jessica Brumit ETSU
Eveline Lepinay Stetson
#6 Salma Dahbi ETSU
By Position (Doubles)
#1 Alexandra Apostu/Virginie Stein Kennesaw State
#2 Marina Cunningham/Taylor Hollander North Florida
#3 Lindsey Cable/Eveline Lepinay Stetson
*Breana Stampfli FGCU
*Laura Kent Lipscomb
*Michelle Valdez North Florida
*Isabella Fernandez Stetson
*Carolina Meregalli Stetson
Quetzali Vazquez North Florida
Danielle Donahue Northern Kentucky
Anna Zoske USC Upstate
Academic All-Atlantic Sun Conference Team
Giulia Andreazza (ETSU) - 3.99, Management
Jessica Brumit (ETSU) - 3.98, Exercise Science
Lyn Ye Choo (ETSU) - 4.00, Computing
Sofia Espana (ETSU) - 3.90, Psychology
Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) - 3.91, Finance
Elizabeth Means (FGCU) - 3.94, Pre-Business Management
Virginie Stein (Kennesaw State) - 4.00, Biochemistry
Diana Bukajeva (Stetson) - 3.83, Business Administration