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Eagles fall 7-0 to No. 62 University of South Florida

FGCU is now 3-4 on the season after loss to coach’s former team

After competing in seven matches over the past two weeks, the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s tennis team has a two-week break before they face Florida Atlantic University on Feb. 22.
“It is good to get a little bit of a break because the last match was very tough,” sophomore Elizabeth Means said. “We need time to rest and recover a little bit.” On Wednesday, Feb. 5, the team played the University of South Florida at the USF Varsity Tennis Complex. They lost 7-0 and move to 3-4 for the season.
Head coach Courtney Vernon was at USF prior to coming to FGCU and was able to give the team pointers about their competition heading into the match. “She knew about each girl’s game and she coached us about each player,” Elizabeth Means said. “She told us what we needed to do to compete well and be most effective.”
Starting the match was doubles play. Both doubles teams lost their matches. USF’s Kayla Rizzolo and Loreto Alonso- Martinez defeated Elizabeth Means and junior Sarah Means 6-2. Gyanna Mandic and Breana Stampfli also lost their match 6-3 to USF’s Olaya Garrido and Fanny Fracassi.
In singles play, all the players lost their matches. In the No. 1 singles spot, Sarah Means took Kayla Rizzolo to three matches, but lost 3-6, 6-3, 10-8. Elizabeth Means also had a close match against Fanny Fracassi but lost 6-4, 7-6.
“It was a tough match,” Elizabeth Means said. “I played my opponent before, and it went to three sets so I knew it was going to be a long match. I learned a lot about myself, and I feel I am growing so much in my game.”
Junior Candela Munoz came off of a successful weekend against FIU and Bethune-Cookman. She was the only undefeated player on the team heading into the USF match. However, on Wednesday, USF’s Vera Bessanova beat her 6-1, 6-0. “You need to be 100 to 200 percent prepared for everything that comes,” Munoz said. “It was that kind of day where everything comes to you, and I couldn’t react.”
Despite the 7-0 scoring, the team learned a lot from its performance playing an Intercollegiate Tennis Association No. 62 ranked team.
“They did a good job at the beginning of the match with sticking to their game plans,” Vernon said. “We can learn from when we are challenged against players that push us.”

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