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FGCU women look to capitalize against UNF and Marquette


The FGCU women’s tennis team (7-9, 4-0 A-Sun) competes against the University of North Florida (12-3, 4-0 A-Sun) on Saturday and will follow the match with a game against Marquette University (10-8) on Sunday.

“We need to continue to work on the things we’ve been working on,” Coach Courtney Vernon said. “We just want to keep it simple and continue to do what we have been doing. The girls are in a good flow.”

UNF is coming off of a 6-1 victory over USC Upstate. The win earned them the A-Sun tournament berth. The Ospreys are led by senior Esther Zuniga and sophomore Michelle Valdez. Valdez has a 19-5 record in singles play. The team will play Stetson before coming to FGCU on Saturday.

“We are anticipating this weekend with excitement,” Vernon said. “I want the girls to be excited to compete and have fun.”

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Marquette is coming off of a 7-0 loss to Notre Dame on Sunday. On Saturday they defeated Butler 7-0 but were not able to convert on Sunday. The team is led by senior Ana Pimienta and junior Erin Gebes.

In the match against Lipscomb, the Eagles won 5-2. Senior Sarah Means and junior Elizabeth Means won their doubles match 8-2. The other doubles teams faltered, giving the Bisons the lead heading into singles play. Despite trailing a point heading into singles play, the Eagles came back and won five out of their six singles matches.

“We did a really good job of supporting each other,” Sarah Means said. “We had really good energy from doubles and carried that over into singles.”

Against Northern Kentucky University, the team changed the tides and won the doubles point and continued to dominate in singles play. All the players won their matches, giving the Eagles a 7-0 victory over NKU. On Sunday, the team defeated University of Texas at San Antonio 6-1. They won the doubles point and kept the momentum going into singles play.

“We were really focusing on what we could control and that has really been paying off,” Vernon said.

Sophomore Breana Stampfli, juniors Johanna Sterkel, Elizabeth Means and Alex Landert came out on top in their matches. Elizabeth Means fought back in her match after losing the first set to come out with a 6-7, 6-4, 11-9 victory. Landert also fought hard in her match to come out with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory.

On Sunday, seniors Sarah Means and Candela Munoz Giron will be honored before the match for senior day. It will be the last home match of the season for the Eagles before they head to Stetson on April 11.

“Sunday will be fun,” Sarah Means said. “I made a lot of great memories here but we still have a match to play so I will focus on the match and try to not get too teary eyed.”

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