FGCU women’s tennis falls short of ASUN Championship
Making its third consecutive ASUN Women’s Tennis Championship Final appearance, the No. 1 FGCU women’s tennis team fell one point short of the program’s first ASUN Championship, falling to No. 2 UNF on Sunday.
Due to the rain in the area, the match kicked off at 1 p.m., despite its original 9 a.m. scheduled time. The Eagles jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Ospreys came back and tallied the final four points of the match to claim a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
“Of course we’re disappointed but UNF played a great match today,” said FGCU head coach Courtney Vernon. “They played tough, and we knew that would be the case after last weekend. Credit to them for coming out, battling us and not giving up at any point.”
Facing the Ospreys for the first time since claiming the program’s first ever ASUN regular-season title, the Eagles jumped out to an early lead thanks to doubles victories by Sara Kelly and Bridget Foster, Julia Ascua and Julianna Curtis and Breana Stampfli and Maja Ornberg.
Following their dominant performance in doubles play, Forster claimed a straight-set victory while Stampfli earned a three-set victory to bring FGCU within a point of claiming the crown.
With their backs against the wall, UNF claimed two straight matches as Laura Falceto Font and Ascua fell to Quetzali Vazquez and Irina Karangozishvili respectively.
With the final two matches ensuing on courts five and one, Kelly was forced to retire her match to Luise Intert due to an injury.
Shortly after Kelly retired her match, Michelle Valdez defeated Ornberg to claim the title and a spot in the NCAA tournament for the Ospreys.
Following the end of tournament, Stampfli was the lone Eagle named to the ASUN All-Tournament team.
“In terms of our team, the future is bright,” Vernon said. “We’ll miss Breana (Stampfli) but what we have right now is strong, so I’m looking forward to next year. This was our third straight year of being in the finals, and I’m hoping it’s bothering the girls a little more each year so they train that much harder to come back and make something happen next year.”