FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s tennis team took down St. John’s 5-2 at the FGCU Tennis Complex on Tuesday afternoon to improve to 4-2 on the spring dual match season.
“I am proud of the team bouncing back after dropping the doubles point,” said FGCU head coach Jen Gabou. “The team showed some fight today and I look forward to seeing them build on today against Ball State.”
After dropping the doubles point to BIG EAST member St. John’s to open the match, FGCU came out strong on the singles courts to climb out of the 1-0 hole they were in as a result of failing to win doubles.
A trio of Eagles took charge on the singles courts as Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS), Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch, Fla.) each won their matches in straight set sweeps. The three singles victories put the Green and Blue up 3-2 in the dual match and put them in control down the stretch as all they needed was won victory to win the dual match.
With two singles matches still in action, Morgan Bechtel (Toldeo, Ohio/St. Ursula Academy) sealed the victory for FGCU and she did so with the pressure on in high southwest Florida winds. After St. John’s Yanita Arnaudova pulled even by winning the second set, Bechtel locked in and nearly swept the third set by winning 6-1 and sealing a victory for the home team.
Junior Gyanna Mandic (Oshowa, Canada/Edison Academies) was still competing in singles action after the Eagles had already clinched the victory, but did not waver despite having dropped the first set 6-1. Mandic battled back to win the next two sets 6-4, 7-6 (4) and seize the match in dramatic fashion to capture applause from all in attendance and seal a 5-2 FGCU win.
FGCU will remain to home to take on Ball State on Tuesday, March 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the FGCU Tennis Complex for its second match of a six-match home stand that will run until Sunday, March 17 when the Green and Blue take on Wisconsin Green Bay.
FGCU 5, St. John’s 2
Order of Finish: (6, 3, 5, 1, 4, 2)
1. Selakovic (SJU) def. S. Means (FGCU) – 6-4, 6-1
2. Mandic (FGCU) def. Washington (SJU) – 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4)
3. Sterkel (FGCU) def. Adams (SJU) – 6-2, 6-3
4. Bechtel (FGCU) def. Arnaudova (SJU) – 6-2, 5-7, 6-1
5. E. Means (FGCU) def. Mikhaylova (SJU) – 6-4, 6-0
6. Botha (FGCU) def. Robakidze (SJU) – 6-2, 6-3
Order of Finish: (2, 1)
1. Adams/Selakovic (SJU) def. Bechtel/Botha (FGCU) – 8-7 (3)
2. Washington/Arnaudova (SJU) def. Sterkel/Mandic (FGCU) – 8-5
3. E. Means/S. Means (FGCU) vs. Robakidze/Mikhaylova (SJU) – DNF