FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s tennis team picked up its first loss of the 2014 regular season as it fell 4-3 to UCF on Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex. The Eagles move to 2-1 on the season as the Knights improve to 1-0.
“Today was a good learning opportunity for the girls,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “We will take today’s loss and learn from it as we continue the season. We were challenged in doubles and will continue to work on building energy and carrying it over into singles play.”
UCF jumped to an early lead winning two of the three doubles matches to begin singles play with a 1-0 advantage. The knights claimed two dominant wins as Courtney Griffith and Josephine Haraldson beat Sarah Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) and Elizabeth Means (Wesley Chapel, Fla./Wiregrass Ranch HS) in the No. 1 match, 6-0, while Sofia Baptista and Courtney Cesarini claimed a 6-1 win over Johanna Sterkel (Schwetzingen, Germany/Carl-Theodor-Schule HS) and Bettina Botha (Cape Town, South Africa/De Kuilen HS) in the No. 2 slot.
Entering singles play with things looking grim, the Eagles needed to take four of the six singles matches to win the contest. Picking up a win in the No. 1 slot was Sarah Means with a controlling 6-3, 6-0, victory over Josephine Haraldson. Joining her sister in the winner’s circle was Elizabeth Means with a 6-2, 6-4, defeat of Annika Hepp. After Saturday’s wins both Sarah and Elizabeth move to 7-0 in singles play this season. Bringing the Eagles their third win was Sterkel playing in the No. 3 slot. Facing UCF’s Sofia Baptista, Sterkel cruised to a 6-3, 6-0 decision.
With the match knotted at 3-3, it was down to the No. 2 singles contest between Breana Stampfli (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago/St. Joseph’s Convent) and Courtney Griffith to decide the overall winner. After taking the first set 7-6, Stampfli failed to hold her lead in the second set, falling 6-4. The two went point-for-point throughout the third set tiebreak until the 8-8 mark, where Griffith collected the necessary points for a 10-8 win.
The Green and Blue will return to action as they travel to Miami to take on the Hurricanes on Jan. 30 at 5 p.m.
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.
Order of finish: (1,2)
No. 1: Griffith/Haraldson def. E Means/S Means – 6-0
No. 2: Baptista/Cesarini def. Sterkel/Botha – 6-1
No. 3: Eberhart/Hepp def. Mandic/Stampfli – DNF
Order of finish: (1, 6, 3, 4, 5, 2)
No. 1: Sarah Means def. Josephine Haraldson – 6-3, 6-0
No. 2: Courtney Griffith def. Breana Stampfli – 6-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)
No. 3: Johanna Sterkel def. Sofia Baptista – 6-3, 6-0
No. 4: Courtney Cesarini def. Bettina Botha – 6-0, 6-2
No. 5: Elizabeth Means def. Annika Hepp – 6-2, 6-4
No. 6: Clare Mendell def. Gyanna Mandic – 6-1, 6-0