FORT MYERS, Fla. – The undefeated FGCU women’s tennis team looks to continue its successful start to the 2014 dual-match season as it welcomes Louisiana Tech and UCF to The Nest for a weekend of head-to-head competition. The Green and Blue will take on LA Tech Friday at 1:30 p.m. and return Saturday to face UCF at 11:00 a.m.
“The team is eager to get back to competition this weekend,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “The girls have a lot of goals they are working towards achieving and this weekend will serve as a great opportunity for them to focus on different aspect of the game.”
32 AND COUNTING
Making their home debut under Vernon, the Eagles racked up 32 wins in their opening weekend, compared to the 24 they totaled at this point last season. Leading the team in singles wins with 5-0 records are sisters Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS). After failing to drop a set all weekend, Sarah Means took home the Flight A singles title of the FGCU Spring Invite, while Elizabeth Means clinched the Flight B title.
After just one week of regular-season action the Eagles are already sweeping away their competition. In last Friday’s dual match against Iowa State the Green and Blue swept all three doubles matches en route to their 6-1 victory over the Cyclones. In their home invitational the Eagles were the last ones standing in every singles bracket, sweeping up each of the three titles. The Eagles No. 1 player Sarah Means picked up the first Atlantic Sun Conference award of 2014 being named A-Sun Women’s Tennis Player of the Week on Wednesday. Means wasn’t the only FGCU honoree in the conference awards as Jordi Vives (Barcelona, Spain/IES Ferran Tallada/USC) of the Eagles’ men’s team was named A-Sun Men’s Tennis Player of the Week, completing yet another FGCU tennis sweep.
Friday’s contest against the Eagles will serve as a trio of firsts for the Lady Techsters being their season opener, first dual match under head coach Chad Camper and first regular-season event as a member of the Southern Conference. During their fall tour, the Bulldogs competed in four regional tournaments and compiled 72 total wins along with six main-draw flight wins in singles and three in doubles. Ranked 15th in the ITA’s Southern Region is sophomore Joanna Nalborska, who is projected to anchor the team this season. LA Tech ended the 2013 regular season with a 15-5 overall record after falling 4-2 to San Jose State in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament.
KNOW THE KNIGHTS
Saturday will mark the fifth all-time meeting between UCF and FGCU, with the 4-0 series record favoring the Knights. UCF opened spring play with its home invitational hosting North Florida, Furman and FIU. Leading the Knights through the weekend was Sofia Baptista. Compiling a 5-1 record, Baptista went 2-1 in singles play and 3-0 in doubles with partner Cortney Cesarini. UCF ended the 2013 regular season with a 14-8 overall record after dropping 4-0 to then No. 33 Memphis in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Tournament.
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis this weekend 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.