Women’s Tennis In ASUN Regular-Season Title Hunt, Soar Back Into ITA Rankings At No. 68

FORT MYERS, Fla. – No. 68 FGCU women’s tennis will close out the regular season with road matches at Central Arkansas and North Alabama on Thursday and Friday. Friday’s first serve at Central Arkansas is set for 12 p.m., and the first serve against North Alabama on Friday is scheduled for 11 a.m.

On Wednesday, the Eagles soared back into the ITA rankings at the No. 68 position, the only ASUN women’s tennis squad to crack the rankings this week. The highest the Green and Blue have been ranked this season was No. 62 back on March 9.

“We are looking forward to competing this week,” head coach Courtney Vernon said. “As we warp up our regular season on the road, the ladies are looking forward to the privilege to travel and give their all this weekend.”

FGCU enters the final two matches of the regular season at 12-6 overall and 6-1 in ASUN. At 6-1 in the conference, FGCU is tied for first with Stetson, Liberty and North Florida in the hunt for its third ASUN regular-season crown. The full ASUN standings can be accessed here.

If a tie atop of the standings occurs, co-champions will be declared. For the purposes of seeding in the ASUN Championship, head-to-head tiebreakers will result among teams involved in the tie and then the ITA rankings. FGCU holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over both Stetson and Liberty.

Last weekend, the Eagles defeated Lipscomb 6-1 and Jacksonville State on Sunday. Friday’s win over Lipscomb clinched a spot in the upcoming ASUN Championship. The ASUN Championship will be held in Fort Myers, Florida, on April 22-24 as the Eagles are set to host the conference championship at the FGCU Tennis Complex.

In singles, both Jordana Ossa and Fanny Norin pace the Eagles with double-digit singles wins, 16 apiece. Five Eagles have posted double-digit singles wins this season.

Ossa went 3-1 last weekend, posting a 2-0 effort in singles and 1-1 in doubles. Norin tallied her ninth-straight singles victory over the weekend to remain undefeated in ASUN play at 7-0.

Isabella Colmenares improved to 5-1 in ASUN singles with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Lipscomb. Colmenares leads the league in conference win percentage this season among all No. 2 singles leaders.

In weekend doubles, Emma Bardet and Ida Ferding improved to 11-7 overall and 6-1 in ASUN competition. Bardet and Ferding are currently tied with Kit Gulihur and Ana Paula Melilo of North Florida as the No. 1 doubles leaders in overall conference records.

Central Arkansas has also clinched a berth into the conference championship at 11-9 and 4-3 in the ASUN, fifth overall in the conference standings. The Bears are on a three-match losing streak, dropping two matches by a single point to both Stetson and North Florida.

Three Bears have posted double-digit singles wins this season, courtesy of Maja Gledis (11), Sumomo Hamanaga (11) and Fuka Nonoyama (10). Nonoyama is a perfect 5-0 in ASUN singles action. In doubles for the Bears, the Mei Ishimura and Yada Vasupongchai duo lead the squad with a 10-5 overall record.

North Alabama will face Kennesaw State on Thursday before hosting FGCU Friday morning. North Alabama is 3-17 and 1-6 in the ASUN.

In singles, 6-foot-2 sophomore Juliette Talieu leads the Lions in singles wins with six. The Lions have rolled out 16 different doubles teams this season, posting a 14-35 overall record across the board.

For complete coverage of FGCU women’s tennis, follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_WTEN and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to have news on FGCU women’s tennis or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.


HEAD COACH COURTNEY VERNON

FGCU’s women’s tennis team is led by three-time ASUN Coach of the Year Courtney Vernon (9th 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 63 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 95-66 overall record (.590) and 42-10 conference record (.807).

E.A.G.L.E. CAMPAIGN

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

#FEEDFGCU

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.

ABOUT FGCU

FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 43 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. 25, 2021-22), 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 24 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. 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.

By Harriet