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Eagles hope to beat FAU at home after loss in Tallahassee

Johanna Sterkel
Johanna Sterkel

The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s tennis team (1-6) hopes to end its losing streak with a win against Florida Atlantic University (2-2) on Wednesday. On Saturday, the team lost 4-0 in its match against No. 34 Florida State University (3-1).

“The thing I like so much about playing tough opponents is that we are constantly being taken out of our game plans,” FGCU head coach Courtney Vernon said. “We have got to find a way to keep to our game plans when we are in uncomfortable situations.”

The Eagles started the match against FSU by losing the doubles point. Junior Elizabeth Means and senior Sarah Means lost their match against FSU’s Daneika Borthwick and Emily Fanning 8-3. Freshman Julianna Curtis and junior Johanna Sterkel also lost their match 8-2.

The teams were playing in a clinch-clinch format. Therefore, not all of the players were able to finish their matches if a team already secured enough points to win the match.

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“When we went out in singles, the match was pretty even,” Vernon said. “Our girls were competing very well and they battled to the last point on their courts.”

Sophomore Breana Stampfli came close in her match against FSU’s Kerri Cartwright. She lost the first set 6-1, but forced the next set into a tiebreaker where she lost 7-6 (7-1). Elizabeth Means lost her match 6-3, 6-2 and Curtis also lost 6-2, 6-2.

Sterkel won her first set 7-5 against FSU’s Gabriella Castaneda. She was tied at 2-2 in the second set when her match was called. Senior Candela Munoz-Giron was also up in her match 6-4, 3-3, but was not able to finish.

Despite the loss, the team is viewing the match as a learning experience.

“We want to continue being on the mentality that there is only way of thinking when you walk on the courts,” Vernon said. “You have to be 100 percent committed to thinking a certain way and we just need to continue to have that mentally and mindset when we are on the court.”

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