FIU Tennis Dominates in Season Opener

Reinaldo Llerena/ Staff Writer

Saturday, Jan. 23 afternoon in Fort Myers the FIU women’s tennis team swept the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles, 4-0, in their season opener at the Florida Gulf Coast Tennis Complex.

With the win, FIU improved to 4-1 all-time versus FGCU and increased their season-opener win streak to three games.

The match, originally set for a 1 pm first serve, was postponed for three hours due to “high winds.”

After the delay, FIU played FGCU in doubles play. Freshman Maryna Veksler and junior Nina Nagode of FIU defeated Elizabeth Means and Julia Acusa of FGCU, 6-3, in the opening match. Next was the duo of senior Carlotta Orlando and redshirt-freshman Andrea Lazaro. They defeated Julianna Curtis and Joselyn Treyes Albarracin, 6-4, to capture the doubles point of the match.

In the first singles match, Nagode defeated Acusa in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, to claim FIU’s second point of the afternoon.

Lazaro followed in her teammate’s steps and defeated Curtis in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4, to put FIU up 3-0 against the Eagles.

At this point, the Eagles needed to win four singles matches in a row to upset FIU. However, sophomore Nerma Caluk of FIU was not going to allow the Eagles to get back into the match.

The sophomore defeated Treyes Albarracin in straight sets, 6-0, 6-3, to finish off the sweep of the FGCU Eagles.

Up next for the Panthers (1-0) are the Troy University Trojans (1-1) on Friday, Jan. 29. The Trojans defeated Stetson, 5-2, on Sunday, Jan. 24, but lost to University of Central Florida in their season opener on Saturday, Jan. 23.

The Trojans have struggled in the early part of the season with doubles play, but they have made up for it with their singles play. To beat the Trojans, FIU has to come out strong in doubles play and get that crucial doubles point. Then, the two teams can battle it out in singles play.

First serve from the FIU Tennis Courts is set for 2:30 P.M.

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