JACKSONVILLE – Redeeming its early exit from last year’s Atlantic Sun Championship, the FGCU women’s tennis team used an early lead and dominant singles play to storm past Lipscomb, 4-0, simultaneously capturing the Eagles’ eighth all-time win over the Lady Bisons and second trip to the A-Sun Championship semifinal.
Extending their unbeaten streak to six, the Green and Blue improves to a Division-I best 14-7 on the year, and will take on second-seeded ETSU (12-8, 7-1 A-Sun) in the semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m. The match will be played outdoors at the UNF Tennis Complex.
“I am happy with the focus and intent the team had today,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “The girls took care of what they could control and it showed. We’re looking forward to taking on a talented ETSU team tomorrow.”
After dropping each of the three doubles matches against Lipscomb during the regular season, FGCU was determined not to let Thursday’s match progress in the same manner, and that is exactly what the Eagles did, winning two doubles matches to take an early 1-0 lead. Quickly posting the first win of the afternoon were Candela Munoz (Alicante, Spain/Troy) and Breana Stampfli (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago/St. Joseph’s Convent), collecting an 8-2 win from Lorena Djuknic and Sierra Troxel. Finishing next to clinch the point were Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS), topping Laura Kent and Melissa Kromer, 8-6.
The Eagles brought fast-paced play into singles, winning the first set in each of the six matches. From then on FGCU continued to control every court before winning three-straight matches in consecutive sets.
Extending FGCU’s lead to 2-0 was A-Sun Freshman of the Year Stampfli who needed just two sets to oust Lipscomb’s Melissa Kromer. After taking the first, 6-3, the rookie continued to control the second with a 6-1 win.
Extending her career at FGCU for at least one more match, Botha posted the next point with a win at six singles. Topping Laura Kent, the senior took the first set, 6-2, and the second, 6-1.
“Today was a great way to start our run in the tournament,” team captain Botha said. “I’m really proud of how my team played today. Hopefully we can take this momentum with us into tomorrow’s match against ETSU.”
Clinching the match for FGCU was A-Sun All-Conference First Team member Munoz, who obtained her 17th win of the season. Facing Jenny Borck, Munoz took both sets in dominant fashion at 6-1.
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. For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available at the end of each day.
FGCU: 4 Lipscomb: 0
1. Elizabeth Means/Sarah Means (FGCU) vs. Jenny Borck/Dehna Welcher (LU) 7-7 DNF
2. Bettina Botha/Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) def. Laura Kent/Melissa Kromer (LU) 8-6
3. Candela Munoz/Breana Stampfli (FGCU) def. Lorena Djuknic/Sierra Troxel (LU) 8-2
1. Sarah Means (FGCU) vs. Dehna Welcher (LU) 6-4, 3-2 DNF
2. Breana Stampfli (FGCU) def. Melissa Kromer (LU) 6-3, 6-1
3. Johanna Sterkel (FGCU) vs. Laura Kent (LU) 6-1, 4-2 DNF
4. Candela Munoz Giron (FGCU) def. Jenny Borck (LU) 6-1, 6-1
5. Elizabeth Means (FGCU) vs. Lorena Djuknic (LU) 7-5 DNF
6. Bettina Botha (FGCU) def. Sierra Troxel (LU) 6-2, 6-1