FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s tennis team (6-6, 4-2) fell to North Florida (14-6, 6-0 ASUN) in a 5-2 final, Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
“Today was a tough match, UNF competed very well,” said head coach Courtney Vernon. “We want to first thank our seniors, Sofia, Maja, and Luli for what they have given to this program. They are three special young women. I want to commend Natalia (assistant coach) on doing a phenomenal job today in coaching the team and stepping in to do whatever was needed.”
FGCU jumped on the board first as the Eagles captured the doubles point over UNF. The Green and Blue fell on the top court, 6-4, but the tandem of Alba Retortillo (Leon, Spain/ La Anunciata) and Ramalle (Buenos Aires, Argentina/Portland) claimed court three to send the deciding point over to court No. 2. On that court Perez (Alajuela, Costa Rica/Florida Virtual School) teamed up with Ida Ferding (Vastera, Sweden/Akademi Bastad Gymnasium) to snag a 6-4 victory, giving FGCU the advantage.
In singles action, Retortillo kicked off the scoring taking court six in straight sets (6-0, 6-3) but UNF battled back to win the rest of the courts en route to the 5-2 final. FGCU saw two matches go into three sets as Emma Bardet (Vichy, France/Long Beach State) fell by two points in her tiebreaker on court three, while Ferding dropped a grueling, 11-9, tiebreaker on court six.
FGCU will host a quarterfinal match at home next Saturday, Apr. 17 as the No. 2 seed against either Stetson or Kennesaw State.
1. Lucia Montano (UNF) def. ORNBERG, Maja (FGCU) 6-0, 6-4
2. Catherine Gulihur (UNF) def. NORIN, Fanny (FGCU) 6-2, 6-1
3. Constanza Gorches (UNF) def. BARDET, Emma (FGCU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Summer Yardley (UNF) def. PEREZ, Sofia (FGCU) 6-4, 6-0
5. Annabelle Davis (UNF) def. FERDING, Ida (FGCU) 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (11-9)
6. RETORTILLO, Alba (FGCU) def. Valentina Mariotto (UNF) 6-0, 6-3
1. Constanza Gorches/Lucia Montano (UNF) def. ORNBERG, Maja/BARDET, Emma (FGCU) 6-4
2. PEREZ, Sofia/FERDING, Ida (FGCU) def. Catherine Gulihur/Valentina Mariotto (UNF) 6-4
3. RAMALLE, Lourdes/RETORTILLO, Alba (FGCU) def. Sean Lodzki/Florencia Rossi (UNF) 6-3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,4,1,2,3,5)
Recent Results (Saturday, Apr. 10)
Liberty def. Bellarmine, 7-0.
For up-to-date coverage of FGCU women’s tennis, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WTEN and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available.
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HEAD COACH COURTNEY VERNON
FGCU’s women’s tennis team is led by three-time ASUN Coach of the Year Courtney Vernon (8th season) who led the Eagles to back-to-back ASUN regular-season crowns in her fifth season in 2018. She has mentored her student-athletes into earning 59 ASUN All-Conference and All-Academic honors, including 2014, 2016, and 2017 ASUN Freshman of the Year as well as the 2016, 2017 and 2019 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the 2018 Player of the Year. Vernon has led the Green and Blue to an 83-63 overall record (.569) and 36-10 conference record (.782).
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 13+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 40 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 23 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, and 2020 Fall semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.